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With days left, Gov. Bevin issues "pension spiking" order

Posted at 5:32 PM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 18:54:46-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18)  — With only a few days left in office, Gov. Matt Bevin signed an executive order ending "pension spiking" in the legislature.

In the order, he says pension spiking "allowed legislators to often double or more than triple the annual pension they would have received based only on their legislative salaries." And Gov. Bevin believes the "Greed Bill," passed in 2005, allows it to happen by letting lawmakers use salaries from higher paying state government positions to calculate into their pension formula.

In his press release, Bevin specifically called out Rep. Rocky Adkins, who is leaving the legislature to become Gov.-Elect Andy Beshear's senior adviser.

“It is outrageous that legislators like Rocky Adkins, who voted for the Greed Bill in 2005 and against SB 151 to end pension spiking, are now attempting to enrich their own pensions by accepting high-paying positions in the Beshear Administration,” said Gov. Bevin. “I’m asking Leader Adkins to retire from the General Assembly prior to his appointment in the executive branch so that his higher salary is not included in his final pension calculation. Additionally, I’m asking the Governor-elect to follow the executive order issued today and prohibit any and all pension spiking in his administration. Kentucky taxpayers deserve this level of respect from the officials they elect.”

So where does Beshear stand on the issue? On Monday, when he announced Adkins' new position, reporters asked Beshear about the pension issue and he said he believes the law is pretty clear.

"Rocky will be entitled to the position that is provided under law given his service when his service ends," said Beshear.

“I refuse to engage in the negative actions and comments of our outgoing governor," said Rep. Adkins in a statement. "After 33 years of service to the Commonwealth, I look forward to joining the Beshear administration and working to uplift Kentucky families. We must set a positive tone and work together to build a better Kentucky."

"On Dec. 10, we're going to usher in a new day in Frankfort, of civility, where we do not engage in personal attacks and we don't use state means and powers to attack those who we disagree with," said Beshear.