Gov. Bevin promises to fix Kentucky's ailing pension system - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Gov. Bevin promises to fix Kentucky's ailing pension system

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- In a video released through social media, Gov. Matt Bevin once again promised that Kentucky's broken public pension system will be fixed.

In the video, Bevin said he wanted to offer encouragement to retirees, current workers and future state employees, but he offered no new details about how he'll rescue the pension system.

Bevin released the nearly 3 minute video soon after a meeting the governor says he held with top lawmakers.

“We are going to have a special session this year, and we are going to save the pension system,” Bevin said in the video.

The state's pension systems are underfunded by some $40 billion. In the video, Bevin said he and House and Senate leaders agree that doing nothing is not an option.

“If we don't make changes, and I mean changes as it relates to how can ensure that your checks keep coming, then they're going to stop in the next 3, 4, 5, 6  years or more perhaps depending on the plan. But this is a real issue that has to be addressed,” said Bevin.

Senate Majority Caucus Chair Dan Seum (R-Louisville) said he was not part of the meeting with the governor, and is waiting to hear Bevin’s pension plan. But Seum does not believe tax increases will be part of the equation.

“I don't think there's any mood in the General Assembly to raise any taxes. So, the question is now do we go about doing that,” Seum told WDRB News.

If there is to be a special session on pensions this year, Democrat Mckenzie Cantrell said would like to see some guidance from the governor soon.

“As far as I know, nothing has been drafted. Nothing has been available for members to take a look at,” she said.

Nicolai Jilek, the legislative liaison for the Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police said he is encouraged that Bevin is focused on pension reform, but the uncertainty is unnerving.

“I think the devil is always in the details,” said Jilek. “What does fix mean? So long as we don't lose benefits and are able to assure that the benefits that have been promised can be paid, then absolutely, that type of fix is what we're hoping for, and looking for.”

The governor's office did not respond to emailed questions about the meeting with lawmakers  or the possible special session.

You can view the governor’s entire video here.

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