Three weeks into the 2018 session and no signs that a pension bill is close

01/19/2018 03:06 PM

FRANKFORT – We’re twelve days into the 2018 General Assembly 60 day session, and there is still no sign that a pension bill is eminent.

Acting Speaker of the House Rep. David Osborne, R- Louisville, says that work continues to go on behind the scenes on the issue, and admits that without a pension bill working on the budget will not be easy.

“Certainly, funding the pension makes the budget ore difficult,” Osborne said. “That’s the reason that we’ve gotten in this place, because they hadn’t made these difficult decisions in the past.”

Tax reform is another issue that was at least thought about prior to the 2018 session, but with both pensions and the budget still to be ironed out, don’t look for that to be taken up during the regular session.

“I think the desire is there to do it, I think, that overall, the body at large wants to tackle tax reform, but again, it’s very difficult to do that with trying to pass a budget, trying to pass pensions, and all of the other legislation that we’re trying to pass,” Osborne said.

Democratic Minority Floor Leader Rep. Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, is frustrated that a bill still may be weeks way.

“I continue to hear there’s pieces and parts that’s being scored, but as far as knowing when a bill will be filed, I have no idea, I have not seen a bill myself,” Adkins said.

Adkins would like to see the pension reforms enacted by the General Assembly in 2008 and 2013, be allowed to continue and not enact many of the cuts Gov. Matt Bevin proposes to prop up the underfunded plans.

“We fully funded the ARC in 20014 budget and the 2016 budget, we created a Tier 3, which was still a defined benefit, but there’s over 50 some thousand employees that are still in the Tier 3, still a defined benefit,” Adkins said. “If you look at the return of the state retirement system, we had a growth of thirteen and a half percent on those investments and return back to the retirement system. So, I would tell you that the reforms that we have made in the past are working.”

Adkins also has concerns about putting all new employees in a 401 (k) style plan because it may not attract quality candidates for state jobs.

“If we want to attract quality teachers in the classroom with our children every day, then we’ve got to have a retirement system that make’s sure we attract that quality,” Adkins said. “401 (k) in my opinion, will not do that. Public employees side, same issue.”


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.