The first meeting of a newly formed legislative Public Pension Working Group is scheduled Tuesday in Frankfort. It will review the systems’ structure, costs, benefits, and funding. The group is charged with making recommendations for General Assembly action by mid- February, but it could be extended until December first.
Legislative action on a pension fix this session is certainly a question mark. During last week’s initial four days of the 2019 session, Grayson Senator Robin Webb was asked about that possibility. “I think there are some ideological differences on each side as to what the definition of fix would be, and who has the risk, how we fund things, how it’s structured going forward. I think those are all legitimate differences,” said Webb.
Lexington Senator Alice Forgy Kerr believes the first priority is to identify pools of money to address the pension plans’ unfunded liability.
Governor Bevin called lawmakers to Frankfort for a special session in December. The House and Senate adjourned in day two without taking action.
Bevin was critical for what he termed a lack of leadership in acting on special session recommendations. Veteran Louisville Senator Dan Seum believes the governor’s comments do complicate the process. “You know everybody seems to forget, when you elect a governor, one of his charges is he has to govern. And quite frankly this guy’s not very good at it,” said Seum.
Senate President Robert Stivers says there will be an effort to create a pension bill, but he’s not sure if it will be finalized with a vote this session.