FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — On the first day of this month, pension costs for some groups in Kentucky went up by around 68 percent.
The only way to fix that now is a new bill in a special session. For weeks now, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has been trying to do that and get lawmakers to consider his bill. On Thursday, Democrats put another option on the table.
Kentucky House Democrats believe that they have a better pension bill than the one Governor Bevin has proposed. They unveiled it Thursday and they said that it is faster, cheaper, legal, and more certain than the bill the governor has.
Democratic leaders said their pension bills are a better long term fix. They say their solution comes down to increasing the projected investment target, using an annual payroll growth of one percent instead of zero, a five year plan to move extra money from the Retiree Health Fund to the pension fund, and freezing the amount of money employers put into the system. The Democrats said that they hope Republicans will work with them on this solution.
"This is hopefully a start to where we can do other reform methods the way we've done it in my time here, and that is in a bipartisan way," said Representative Rocks Adkins, the Minority Floor Leader.
Bevin's staff said this proposal is similar to the ideas that got Kentucky into this pension problem in the first place.
"I believe he would be very skeptical of political manipulation of the rates," said Bryan Sunderland, the Governor's Deputy Chief of Staff.
There is talk that the special session could happen as soon as July 19.