Governor Bevin declares 'day of reckoning' in pension crisis
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin delivered dire predictions Thursday for the future of the state's pension funds.
Speaking to a state gathering of local government officials, Bevin called this 'a day of reckoning' as he continues to push for a sweeping reform of the pension system.
Bevin accepted the challenge and criticized former pension system officials who "kicked the can down the road."
"That gig is up," Bevin said. "It's unacceptable, it's irresponsible, it's the wrong thing to do."
The Governor's description of the challenge was sobering but short on detail.
Depending on how you measure it, Governor Bevin said state pensions are in a $40 to $80 billion dollar hole.
Speaking to attendees of the Governors Local Issues Conference, Bevin did not say how the problem will be fixed, where sacrifices might have to be made, or if benefits will be cut.
"We could sell every state park, every vehicle, every building, every pencil that you use at work," Bevin said, "everything that the state owns, everything.
"And we wouldn't come close to hitting a fraction of what we owe in unfunded liability. That is the sobering, harsh reality. We can pretend it's just going to magically appear from somewhere. We can pretend we get rates of return that delude us into thinking, 'See we don't have to put that much in.' But we are bleeding out."
Governor Bevin said he had been meeting with members of the legislature. He previously discussed the need to call a special session to deal with the pension crisis but has not revealed when.
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