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Editor &Publisher - Dr. Mark H. Grayson, (DoL) Hon. 2005 EKU
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April 3, 2018

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: President of Ky. Public Retirees supports teachers

 

Kentucky Retirement Systems stakeholders are shocked and appalled by the actions of the General Assembly regarding public pensions. Last week, in the space of about nine hours, the majority party produced a 291-page pension bill and voted it out of the House and Senate. Senate Bill 151 awaits Gov. Matt Bevin’s signature.

Taxpayers need to understand three important points about this bill as it relates to Kentucky Retirement Systems. First, KRS pensions were comprehensively reformed in landmark legislation in 2013. That legislation reduced future liabilities by eliminating retiree cost-of-living adjustments and adopted a hybrid cash-balance plan for new hires in which future risk is shared between employees and employers.

Second, the new pension bill produces no significant reduction in KRS liabilities, according to the KRS actuary. Third, stakeholders believe strongly that the benefit reductions in SB 151 violate the contract rights of members. Attorney General Andy Beshear and others will litigate.

We urge taxpayers to remember these three points when the November election approaches. If your legislator voted “yes” to Senate Bill 151, it was a vote to make illegal benefit cuts that produce no significant savings for a system that already had been comprehensively reformed just five years ago. We urge citizens to vote accordingly.

Jim Carroll
President, Kentucky Government Retirees

 

April 2, 1018

Alison Grimes, KY. Dem. Secretary of State is considered a strong candidate for Governor in the 2019 election.Alison Grimes, KY. Dem. Secretary of State is considered a strong candidate for Governor in the 2019 election.

 

"...As thousands march on Frankfort today and the halls of the Capitol are swept with a sea of red, our teachers and public employees are showing that they will not be silenced. These men and women wake up every day committed to the work of educating, protecting, and serving our Commonwealth. Their voices are reverberating across the state with the resounding message that a war on the working people who serve Kentucky will not be won.

This  message will be carried to the ballot box in November. I encourage any Kentuckian who is not registered to vote to visit GoVoteKY.com and become a voter.

I'm proud to stand with Kentucky's teachers and public employees today and every day.

 

March 30, 2018

State lawmakers have adjusted their 2018 legislative calendar to delay the start of a recess period and allow the Senate and House to convene on Monday, April 2. They hope to have a final state budget agreement ready to be voted on that day.State lawmakers have adjusted their 2018 legislative calendar to delay the start of a recess period and allow the Senate and House to convene on Monday, April 2. They hope to have a final state budget agreement ready to be voted on that day.


FRANKFORT -- Efforts to reform the state’s public pension systems have taken a winding road and faced uncertain prospects at times since the issue came to the forefront of public discussion last year. But after making changes based on input received from stakeholders throughout the General Assembly’s 2018 session, public pension legislation reached the end of its legislative journey this week as lawmakers approved a bill on the issue and delivered it to the governor’s office to be signed into law.

One notable change to the legislation in recent days was removing a provision that would have reduced the cost-of-living adjustment for retired teachers. The previous proposal would have reduced that adjustment from 1.5 percent to 1 percent, but there’s no such reduction in the plan lawmakers ultimately approved.

The goal is to stabilize pension systems that face more than $40 billion in unfunded liabilities. More funding is one part of the plan, according to the proposed state budgets both chambers have approved but, as of this writing, have not come to a final agreement.

Changes proposed by the pension reform legislation, Senate Bill 151, are aimed at shoring up the system in a number of ways, such as by placing future teachers in a hybrid “cash balance” plan rather than a traditional benefits plan and by limiting the impact of accrued sick leave on retirement benefit calculations.

While much of the focus at week’s end was on the movement of the pension legislation, a number of other bills also received final approval and were sent to the governor this week, including measures on the following topics:

Prescription medicines. Senate Bill 6 would require a pharmacist to provide information about the safe disposal of certain prescription medicines, such as opiates and amphetamines.

Terrorism. Senate Bill 57 would allow a person injured by an act of terrorism to file a claim for damages against the terrorist in state court.

Police cameras. House Bill 373 would exempt some police body camera footage from being publicly released. It would exempt the footage from being released when it shows the interior of private homes, medical facilities, women’s shelters and jails or shows a dead body, evidence of sexual assault, nude bodies and children.

Abortion. House Bill 454 would prohibit a certain type of abortion procedure, known as a D & E, if a woman is more than 11 weeks pregnant. The legislation does not ban other types of abortion procedures.

Lawmakers have adjusted their 2018 legislative calendar in order to convene the Senate and House on Monday, April 2, with hopes that a state budget agreement will be reached between the chambers at that time. A legislative recess is scheduled to begin on April 3, with lawmakers returning to the Capitol to adjourn the session by April 14.

Citizens who want to share feedback on the issues confronting our state can do so by calling the General Assembly’s toll-free message line at 1-800-372-7181.

 

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