The Kentucky House State and Local Government Committee has passed a bill aiming to reform the state’s pension plan. The committee passed Senate Bill 151, which was originally filed as an act related to wastewater services. The bill contains elements of Senate Bill 1, which was unsuccessful in its passage. The bill passed 11-8, mostly on party lines, with many Democrats voicing fierce opposition to the rushed plan saying the nearly 300-page document was just handed to lawmaker’s minutes before the committee meeting. Rep. Jim Wayne, D – Louisville, shared concerns the bill may be illegal. Bill sponsor Rep. Bam Carney, R – Campbellsville, say this is a comprehensive reform plan. Carney is an educator who would be directly impacted by this bill if it passes. Carney says this bill will save $300 million in 30 years. Senate Bill 151 contains no changes to cost of living adjustments, which will remain at 1.5 percent. There are no changes to the number of years needed to serve in order to receive benefits. New hires would enter a hybrid cash balance plan. Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne, R – Prospect, discussed reforms prior to the bill’s passage, saying it is important for the public to understand what lawmakers could pass. The state’s retirement systems are $41 billion short of the money needed to pay benefits over the next 30 years. Kentucky is among the nation’s worst-funded pension system.
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