KY Legislators: Public pension reform might not pass this session

KY pension reform stalling in regular session

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A special session failed to provide a fix to Kentucky’s pension crisis. Now, one week into the 2019 regular session, there are still no substantial efforts materializing on chamber floors aimed at finding a solution.

At Thursday Night's Chamber Dinner, legislative leaders made an admission that a solution to fix the state's $38 billion pension crisis might not even come this year.

"I don't believe that a quick solution will be found," House Speaker David Osborne said. "Quite frankly, I think there's a possibility that we will exit this session without a solution."

Friday, others in the legislature said they agree with Speaker Osborne's assessment.

"I think what Speaker Osborne was saying last night is that he sees people getting together and working on this issue," Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey said. "That might not come to a solution in a 30-day session."

Despite five bills exchanged to the House, no major efforts of pension reform were visible during part one of the legislative session.

“We are going to try to fashion something. Whether it can be done in this session, I do not know, or could it be done, as I said on KET, in a special session when we adjourn,” Senate President Robert Stivers said.

A special session Democratic leaders said could be more productive than one called by Governor Bevin in December.

“A special session is supposed to happen when you have a bill, you have agreement, you have the votes, you come in five days and pass it," McGarvey said. "That’s not what happened last time, but if we could get a group that could come together with some kind of bipartisan pension legislation, maybe it could.”

Friday, it was announced, after adjournment, that a bipartisan working group would start to do that this month with an initial goal of recommending a fix by Mid-February.

If needed, extensions to that deadline have already been laid out by group members.

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