By RONNIE ELLIS
A bill to address Kentucky’s growing unfunded liabilities in its pension systems is now in the hands of the House State Government Committee, but its fate remains unknown.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, and passed by the Republican-controlled Senate is based on recommendations of a task force co-chaired Thayer and former Rep. Mike Cherry.
Those recommendations are to retain current benefits for existing employees and retirees but move new employees into a hybrid, cash-balance plan, end cost of living adjustments and fully fund the annually required contribution to the funds.
Though economic and stock market trends affected the health of the funds, a major problem has been the legislature’s decision in previous years not to make that full payment.
But Thayer’s bill only says it is “the intent” of the legislature to fully fund the ARC beginning next year. It does not specify where that money will come from.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, have said they want to know how to pay for the ARC before passing the Senate bill.
As Thursday’s committee meeting began, Chairman Rep. Brent Yonts, D-Greenville, said a committee substitute to Thayer’s bill is being drafted and will be sent to legislative staff for “scoring,” indicating the substitute will include some funding method.
For the full story, see the print or e-edition of Friday's Glasgow Daily Times.