FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s U.S. Senate candidates disagree over a bill that would rescue the pensions and health benefits of thousands of retired union coal miners.
The bill before the U.S. Senate would use some of the $490 million each year that flows through the federal Abandoned Mine Land program to rescue the health benefits of union coal miners whose companies have gone out of business. It would also shore up a United Mine Workers of America pension fund that’s on the brink of collapse following the 2008 recession.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says he supports the concept of the bill, but says it should help all coal miners, not just those who joined a labor union. Democratic challenger Jim Gray said he supports the bill, calling it “a positive, bipartisan step.”
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