Republican lawmakers talk new pension bill

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ)- After the long-awaited public pension reform bill was filed Tuesday night, republican lawmakers are sharing more details now on how they say it will prop up the system that currently faces a close to $40 billion funding shortfall.

Republican leadership in both the house and senate took questions Wednesday morning shedding a little light on the new pension bill.

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“It would be easy to do what has been done for years and that is to ignore what we need to do and but at some point in time you’ve got to put a stake in the ground and say that we’re not going to do it anymore and that we”re going to start making, honoring the commitment we made to fund these things and yes it’s going to be difficult. It’s the reason that it hasn’t been done before,” said House Speaker Pro Tempore David Osborne.

Speaker Pro Tem Osborne along with Senate President Robert Stivers and Senator Joe Bowen say their new pension bill will do what’s necessary to mend Kentucky’s ailing public pension system.

Among many things, the bill would require teachers work longer to get enhanced benefits and would cut in half the amount of money retired teacher’s get for rising inflation over the next decade.

Decisions lawmakers say are needed.

“I can’t imagine there being a lot of push back on this. We’ve made, I don’t want to call them concessions because they’re just sound, sound decisions that we made. They’re fiscally responsible decisions. So they’re not concessions but they’re the right decisions,” said Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro.

Lawmakers say they don’t expect too many changes to the bill and will continue to release more details in the coming days.

“It will be in the public domain. So it will be seen as it starts through our process on the senate and as it goes through the house process,” said Senate President Stivers.

For a closer look at the specifics of this bill and how it could affect you head to http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/18RS/SB1.htm.