FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – As protesters left Frankfort with a sense of relief following a brief special session, Governor Matt Bevin claims lawmakers made the wrong move.
“The problem that we had, we continue to have, and that is a drastically under-funded pension system,” Bevin told reporters Tuesday night.
Al Cross, a longtime political reporter for the Courier-Journal, is now with the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at UK. He says the several billion dollar pension shortfall, which is the worst in the country, is still an issue that needs to be addressed.
“The governor deserves a lot of credit for tackling this issue. It had to be tackled. He has been much more aggressive in doing so then he needed to be,” said Cross.
However, Cross thinks the governor’s decision to call lawmakers to work with little notice, may hurt him heading into an election year.
“Calling a session without proper preparation, shows that he really doesn’t have a working relationship with the general assembly, which is essential for any governor,” said Cross.
Democratic State Representative Kelly Flood, of Lexington, made it very clear she wasn’t happy with the governor’s move.
“This move by the governor revealed a level of gubernatorial incompetence, impulsivity, and wastefulness,” said Flood.
She thinks the pension reforms that took place in 2013 have Kentucky on the right track.
Governor Bevin held firm Tuesday night. He believes bold pension reform must happen to save the system.
“For the last 20 plus years in Kentucky they’ve not talked about it. They whistled right past the graveyard and pretended it didn’t exist, but it exists. I think people are aware of that now. The problem just got worse.