Kentucky governor says pension announcement coming soon

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Matt Bevin

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s Republican governor says he is close to calling state lawmakers back into session so they can make changes to one of the country’s worst-funded public pension systems.

Gov. Matt Bevin told reporters Tuesday an agreement with state lawmakers just needs “a bit of I-dotting and T-crossing.” Bevin and leaders of the state House and Senate have been crafting a proposal in private for months.

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Republican leaders say they have agreed on how to change the state’s struggling public pension system.

Gov. Matt Bevin, state House Speaker Jeff Hoover and Senate President Robert Stivers will announce the plan Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the state Capitol. All are Republicans.

State officials are at least $33 billion short of the money needed to pay retirement benefits over the next 30 years. But talk of changing the system has prompted a wave of retirements as state workers are fearful of how the changes could impact them.

Republican state Rep. Bam Carney is a public school teacher. He said the proposal meets all “legal and moral” responsibilities.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.