Senate President Stivers says let process play out when it comes to pension bill

02/08/2018 10:19 PM

FRANKFORT – We’re nearly 30 days through the 2018 General Assembly session, and everyone is still waiting for a pension bill to surface.

Many Kentuckians and some legislators are surprised that, after not being able to address the issue in a special session in 2017, the wait continues for a bill to be finalized.

Senate President Robert Stivers that everyone needs to be patient as the process to finalize a plan takes place.

“The process now is getting very, very close,” Stivers said. “I think there’s two pieces of information we are waiting for. When we get those, We’ll see how they compare and contrast to each other, then I think we’ll be prepared to sit down and say we’re going to take item A versus item B, or item B over item A and come with a bill”

Stivers believes that it’s more important to have a meaningful pension reform bill rather than rushing one through which may not be carefully thought out.

“You know, if we do something we want to make sure it does have significance,” Stivers said. “If it doensn’t, then why are we dealing with it.”

While the original pension proposal from Governor Matt Bevin had heavy support in the Senate, Stivers believes that the final bill will a compromise between Bevin, the Senate, and the the House.

“You have different perspectives depending on where you come, there’s regional dynamics that play into this,” Stivers said.

Stivers is aware that many teachers as well as state workers are growing impatient for a bill to be finalized.

“I think people who are affected by it, who will have direct impact, that may be a beneficiary or recipient are very much concerned and I understand that,” Stivers said.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has indicated that he wishes the General Assembly would focus more on finalizing a pension plan rather than passing the bills that they have in 2018.

Stivers says that he understands the governors impatience, but everything takes time.

“The problem is that there is a process that takes place, and just because the process is slower than some people expect, doesn’t mean that we can’t multi-task and take care of other issues,” Stivers said.

While many may be surprised that it’s taking so long, count the Senate President as one who is not.

“I’m not surprised because I have been consistent in my statements, the process will dictate the time, and we don’t control the process,” Stivers said. “I am bot the individual who has control from A to Z of this process. We have to go outside to individuals.”

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at



  • Chris Tobe wrote on February 09, 2018 08:07 AM :

    This bill built on PFM’s faulty assumptions will always fall apart under real scrutiny see my book at

  • Heza Putz wrote on February 09, 2018 10:59 AM :

    Go back and re-visit the major campaign issues which propelled the GOP to control of the House and the Governor’s office….Kentucky’s public pension system is a ticking time bomb and our tax code is an antiquity and both must be addressed together and the voters said OK, you’re right, fix it. Now here we are with Senator Stivers mumbling about process and tax reform will have to wait and a handful of people will actually know what is in the pension fix before it is dumped on the members in the middle of the night.

  • AllPainNoGain wrote on February 09, 2018 11:23 AM :

    Let me translate this for you. They were waiting until after the filing deadline to move forward but then realized that almost every single incumbent has opposition in November and now they are scared to death of losing their seats. Those new candidates are running for office because they believe the current legislators are out of touch, against public education and against the middle class. Expect the pension bill to not pass this session. No tax reform either. Then, after the election in November, they will have a special session and do both. That way those who are voted out will have nothing to lose and those incumbents who won will have time to distract voters before the next general election.

  • Ricky Lee Williams Jr. wrote on February 09, 2018 12:48 PM :

    Let me try to translate what we are witnessing here. We are in a death spiral monetarily in this state. They have no idea how to fix it. When we start to here the old 30 year term , you know we are back to a few years ago when they had it all solved. We have 30 years to correct this pension system. Boom. 5 years later we find ourselves in dire straights. A bad month happening on Wall Street from having to pay these retirements as we go. This week was only a correction. It would take more than this drop to be final blow to KRS. Making us pay as we go…

    Good news maybe some of these folks will be voted out in 2018. And maybe the business community will demand change in how they conduct business. Today there is way to much politicking on the floor. These committee hearings have got to be ran better. This is our ( GOP ) first run at holding power. Having Freshman Committee chairs in the House has came with its consequences. Not much was gained over the interim of helping this session with being better prepared. The lack of Committees meeting or canceling is staggering this far in. I think everyone I have spoken with is bracing for the Budget Document and how the road funds are being placed with all the needs everywhere. This is a huge task to undertake and we will miss Leslie combs, and Rick Rand in their helping with these complex issues that consist in forming that document..

    We have to remember at the end of the day these are part time legislators. Most have very little financial dealings in their private lives or educated in these money markets. These are very complex issues and for whatever reason very few have stepped up to the mic and explained thoughts or vision of what is really needed from outside KY. Professionals who are in the bond markets or financial journalist who cover this for the big financial audience. ie Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, etc. Most I talk to in the financial world thinks we are not going to be able to come out of this. Even if we have the needed tax reform structuring in place. That will only buy us a few years. Paying the debit down comes from workers whose’ salary in real dollars can’t bare. The hole that we have dug, in with the lack of future growth foreseen coming the next 20 years in KY. Has finally put us in a no win situation, only a survival mode..

    The last 10 days should be a marathon at warp speed. They have said this will not go down to the wire like most sessions before. I don’t know if that is possible. I do know what we have witnessed so far is a excellent example of how we got here. Lack of imagination, very little coordination among others , in with no understanding of the consequences brought from lack of time management and getting best possible experts testifying in front of most eyes as possible. Joe Bowen has been the only member I have seen to say something. Its not only the citizens being left in the dark. Most of the members that are going to vote on this major piece of legislation are too. Its all being treated like a big secret…

    Throw the parties out the window. We have got to start calling for having debates between our candidates before going to the polls. These people are part time , but that’s why its a must to have someone who understands some of the process with the limited time they have to give. We need to elect more professional with a business , medical , financial, engineering, high tech , backgrounds. The lawyer needs are covered in Frankfort. We have allowed too many over the years to make discussions they had no idea of the outcome nor the consequences of their actions would have. I don’t blame the Assemble Members no more for this mess. We knew this day was coming. We choose to ignore it and kept voting the ones who walked us over to the cliff back in. Fault belongs to the voters and the ones who didn’t show up to vote.. Most of these legislators are upper middle class or in the top 10 percent of KY economically.. If your neighbor is struggling its a recession. If you are struggling its a depression. Now how would your member answer that ? If you said a slight recession you are correct. It also explains the lack of urgency and effort being put forth in the Senate to educate the public so far. Not one hearing on pension nor tax reform..

    Tom Buford , Whitney Westerfield, Bam Carney , and Julia Raque Adams seems to be the only 4 that used their committee hearings over interim wisely. The rest have struggled.. RL

  • AllPainNoGain wrote on February 12, 2018 09:36 AM :

    Stivers says there are two pieces of information they are waiting on to move forward with pension reform. My guess is that those two pieces of information are the names of the winners of the two special elections being held on February 20 and February 27. If a democrat wins one or both of those races, I wouldn’t expect a pension bill this session. If republicans win both seats, well, expect the fear the current administration feels to subside and they will move forward with the pension bill. Just a guess.

  • Ricky Lee Williams Jr. wrote on February 12, 2018 11:34 AM :

    The special elections will be split. Linda Belcher will win her old seat back. And GOP will retain Rep. Radar’s seat.. Its a shame that neither race was willing to a hold a debate to allow the voters to see them head to head. Watching these leaders campaigning while not leading in real time is so funny.. Let me tell you how great thou art. But don’t ask me any questions. Bold leaders we have…

    Friends, the political system is broken beyond repair. This pension crisis is being handled by all parties , media , business , state employees , etc WRONG.

    When is the media going to go outside KY and the political circle for insight ? When ? We are getting nothing at all from our elected leaders. We are getting very little useful substance from the political insiders who going on CN2 , KET , Etc.

    In the same vein as the ongoing Opioid Crisis. We have to get more information out to the public. Our leaders aren’t giving it. The media reports what our leaders say. We have to start thinking outside the box to gather the important information our citizens are wanting. The whole thing needs a reset. This isnt working for anyone… RL

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