GUEST POV | Sarah Davasher-Wisdom - Kentucky's Agenda for 2016 - WDRB 41 Louisville News

GUEST POV | Sarah Davasher-Wisdom - Kentucky's Agenda for 2016

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Sarah Davasher-Wisdom
WDRB Guest Editorial

With the 2015 elections behind us and the 2016 session of the General Assembly fast approaching, it's time to address Kentucky's biggest problem: Kentucky's legislature has severely under-funded pensions for state workers 15 out of the last 22 years. The retirement system is funded at just 21 percent. 

We have an inviolable contract with state employees that should be honored.  Kentucky is also in a terrible fiscal situation where our credit rating was recently downgraded.

Lawmakers must pursue a combination of commonsense revenue options, budget and cost savings, as well as structural changes to the pension system in order to divert a more severe crisis.

Private sector employees are generally offered a 401K plan, often with a company match.  This empowers employees to take charge of their own retirement while limiting the employer's liabilities.  Employees are free to take that money from job to job, building upon their careers. We must look to the 401k-style private sector reforms to improve the long-term solvency.

Expanded gaming could provide a $400 million injection to state coffers.  It should not be ignored, especially in these dire fiscal straits. 

Additional pro-growth revenue and cost saving measures must also be considered, including Public-Private Partnerships, Local Investments for Transformation (LIFT) and review of underutilized tax breaks.

The Governor, legislators, the business community, and retirees must all come together.

I'm Sarah Davasher-Wisdom with Greater Louisville Inc. And that's my Point of View.

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