FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky workers are trying to save for retirement, but can the Commonwealth cover the cost for its employees? Louisville's Mayor says he's concerned it can. The same with Lexington's Mayor. They are calling on lawmakers to do something during their 2013 session which convened Tuesday.
Nearly all the lawmakers convening at the State Capitol for the first day of the news session of 2013 agree pension reform is the number one priority.
With the pomp and circumstance of opening a new Kentucky General Assembly and swearing in the first new Senate president in 12 years out of the way, the men and women who serve the Commonwealth say they are ready to get down to business. Top on the list, "pension reform," said Republican floor leader Senator Damon Thayer.
It's not a sexy topic, but Senator Thayer said the state has a $33 billion unfunded liability it has to deal with. It's basically promised money to employees when they retire. The City of Louisville alone has $18 billion of that. Everyone from city leaders to the Governor agree it's a problem that's been building for almost a decade. "The longer we wait on pension reform the worse the problem gets," said Thayer.
That is why the new floor leader will be responsible for a bill that solves the problem before taxpayers have to foot the bill. Senator Thayer said the solution is similar to a recommendation from a task force that would change the system into one that is similar to private sector plans. "It shares the risk between the employer and the employee and provides a good retirement for employees when they leave public service."
Thayer believes the state can cover the costs. "If we have moderate growth in revenues over the next biennium we will have more than enough money to meet the actuarially funded contribution without raising taxes."
There are still 138 other lawmakers who get to weigh in. Thayer said he's hopeful the bill can get passed in the 30 day session, but it's unclear if a funding plan can be agreed on in the same time period.
Saturday, May 18 2013 12:25 PM EDT2013-05-18 16:25:18 GMT
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A standoff lasting nearly 12 hours came to an end early Saturday morning in the Shively neighborhood. The man police were after, Jerry Ross, is dead. Police have not determinedMore >>
The man police were after, Jerry Ross, is dead.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 11:10 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:10:15 GMT
LAUREL COUNTY, KY (WAVE) – A woman allegedly went to extreme lengths to let out her neighbor's dogs. According to Laurel Sheriff's Senior Sgt Greg Poynter, at 4:50 p.m. Friday deputies received a callMore >>
According to Laurel Sheriff's Senior Sgt Greg Poynter, at 4:50 p.m. Friday deputies received a call a woman had broken into a home on Chaney Ridge Road.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 10:21 PM EDT2013-05-18 02:21:45 GMT
NEW ALBANY, IN – New Albany police said Friday that a mother found dead along with her two young children in a creek in Binford Park in March drowned her two young children and then herself. New AlbanyMore >>
Investigators said Jaime Clutter, 35, suffered from mental illness -- possibly psychosis and postpartum depression -- when she walked her children to Binford Park March 13 and drowned them. More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 9:20 PM EDT2013-05-18 01:20:21 GMT
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Multi-million dollar dreams are running through a lot of heads -- $600 million dollars worth of them. The Powerball jackpot Friday climbed to the highest ever in U.S. history, secondMore >>
The Powerball jackpot Friday climbed to $600 million, the highest ever in U.S. history and second highest ever in the world.More >>