State Senate Passes Pension Reform Recommendations

Feb 8, 2013

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The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would reform the majority of the state's pension system. Senate Bill 2 contained the recommendations of a legislative task force on the underfunded pension system. It suspends cost of living adjustments and creates a hybrid, 401k-style pension plan for new hires.

Bill sponsor Damon Thayer says the bi-partisan support for the bill shows the need for continued cooperation on pensions.

"This is not a perfect bill. There are certainly other ways that this can be done," Thayer said. "But in this town and in this building, when have we ever given up the good for the sake of the perfect. This is a good bill, Mr. President."

But Minority Floor Leader R.J. Palmer, a Democrat from Winchester, says the plan does not go far enough to protect certain public employees.

"These are our future first responders, our policemen, our firefighters,” Palmer said. “They're the front line workers who assist many of our most vulnerable citizens, our senior our children, and our disabled."

House Speaker Greg Stumbo says his chamber is still debating ways to handle the pension issue. Stumbo says any legislation must fully fund state pensions, and Senate Bill 2 currently does not.