By RONNIE ELLIS
Kentucky lawmakers ended their first week of the 2013 General Assembly on Friday amid feelings of goodwill but adjourned for three weeks before coming back to begin the real work.
Topping that agenda for the Republican Senate is pension reform.
Majority Leader Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, co-chaired a task force which offered recommendations on how to address the problem: Come up with about $327 million in the next budget to begin full funding of the required contribution; place new employees in a hybrid, cash-balance plan which guarantees a return of 4 percent but allows the pension fund to bank savings above 4 percent; an end to cost of living adjustments; and taxing retirement benefits.
Thayer said Friday he is “putting the finishing touches” on a bill which he intends to introduce on the first day lawmakers return, Feb. 5. He said Senate members will be briefed on the bill before that date.
Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, has said pension reform is one of the top priorities for Republicans in the current 30-day session and he said again Friday he expects progress on the issue.
“I’m hoping we can come out of this session with at least a framework for what the retirement system should look like for future employees,” Stivers said.
For the full story, see the print or e-edition of the Weekender.