Key Bevin proposal axed from KY pension bill

Updated: Feb. 14, 2018 at 8:17 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers revealed the legislature will drop a key component of Governor Matt Bevin's plan to reform the state's ailing pension system.

To cut costs and reduce the $40 billion shortfall in pension funding, Governor Bevin called for moving some teachers into a 401(k)-type plan. The plan was met with strong opposition from teachers and retirees.

Senator Stivers, the senate's GOP leader, told reporters Wednesday that research determined the Governor's plan would not save money. So far, calculations and planning for the bill have occurred behind closed doors and few details have been made public.

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"I don't think everyone's going to be totally happy with it," Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said. "But, I think maybe they'll have a little heartburn, but not a heart attack."

Democrats in the house and senate complain they have not been included in the process. There are not enough Democrats in the legislature to mount any effective opposition when the bill is eventually introduced.

Democrat and minority floor leader Senator Ray Jones II said the Governor's plan would have made it more difficult to recruit new teachers.

"They can pass what they want to pass," Jones said. "But ultimately they won't be accountable to the minority members of the house and senate. They're going to be accountable to four million plus Kentuckians."

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