Government pension plan a major sticking point for KY lawmakers - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Government pension plan a major sticking point for KY lawmakers

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Time is ticking for this year's legislative session in Frankfort and at least one major issue appears to largely be left unsettled.

"The big issue we have to struggle with is the pension issue," said Louisville Rep. Jim Wayne.

Lawmakers have been wrestling with a more than $30 billion unfunded liability, which is money promised to government employees when they retire.

Rep. Wayne said the shortfall has been growing for awhile due to many factors.

"We haven't had the return on investments in the pension system that we look for because of the financial crisis that we've had since 2008, so a number of issues have caused this shortfall, but the reality is it needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed now," he said.

That's because there could be a massive trickle down affect.

"It really affects everything because it affects the budget and other programs in the budget like education, social services, medicaid, but it all affects our bond rating and the financial stability of the state, so we have to get that fixed," he said.

The topic appeared to be top of mind with many lawmakers when the session started earlier this year, but with Tuesday's deadline looming, time is ticking for a proposal to pass.

"There is a possibility of a special session regarding the pension. We have to get it fixed and if we can't come together in these final two days, we'll have to have a special session because it cannot wait until January," Rep. Wayne said.

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