NewsCovering Kentucky


As Special Session Looms, Groups Wonder What Pension Bill Impact Might Be

Posted at 6:24 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 18:24:22-04

(LEX 18) — A few weeks ago, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin made it clear he will be calling a special session in an effort to tackle part of the state’s pension problem.

Now, it looks like the special session may happen sooner than some thought.

Before time ran out this year, lawmakers rushed to pass House Bill 358, then Bevin vetoed it. At the time, he told LEX 18 that he did because parts of it broke the law.

“There are parts of it that are incorrect, including parts that are just not legally allowed. You’re not allowed to take away, under any circumstance and for any reason, somebody’s pension check after they’ve already earned it,” he said.

Now, lawmakers are hearing they could be called back to work next Monday for a special session.

Groups like the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy also haven’t seen the proposal, but they’re waiting to analyze it, saying there is so much on the line.

“There’s a lot at stake in the long term for these organizations, for these employees and for the pension system,” said Kentucky Center for Economic Policy Executive Director Jason Bailey.

Depending on what lawmakers do or don’t do, quasi-governmental groups like regional universities and local health departments, will need to put in a lot more money into the pension system starting this July.

Earlier this month, LEX 18 spoke with one group, Safe Harbor, which said that’ll be difficult to afford. Now, everything is up in the air.

“It gives us a lot of anxiety whether we’re going to be in operation in the next six months, depending on whatever the solution is,” said Ann Perkins of Safe Harbor.