POV | One less smoke-filled backroom in Kentucky politics - WDRB 41 Louisville News

POV | One less smoke-filled backroom in Kentucky politics

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Little-noticed among the seven bills that Republicans rushed through the legislature last week is a new law that will make the state-funded pensions of legislators a matter of public record. This bill has been pushed for years by Sen. Chris McDaniel, a Republican from Northern Kentucky, only to be killed in the former Democratic House. 

Amazingly - even though taxpayers are on the hook for pensions - no one in Kentucky has the right to file an open records request and find out how much any state employee is getting in pension benefits from the state. 

Certain Democrats have long argued that, while a government employee's salary is public information, once they retire, their pension is no one's business.

That's ridiculous!  It is all of our business because we as taxpayers are liable for these payments.

Over the years, legislators have ensured that their own pensions are near full funding while the plans for state workers and teachers are billions of dollars in the red because the state has not funded them adequately.  In smoke-filled backroom tradition, legislators passed laws to take care of themselves, and then passed more laws to make sure we never knew how well they were doing.

McDaniel's bill begins to change that - but only for legislators.  We can now file records requests to see how much any lawmaker will get in pension when he or she retires.  Bravo, Mr. McDaniel!  

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.

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