Lawmakers try to pass pension bill during special session


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Friday, the special session began and lawmakers are trying to provide pension relief to state agencies.

It’s costing taxpayers more than $66,000 every day of the session and on Friday lawmakers adjourned after one hour.

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Three bills revolving around pension relief did get a first reading and were referred to committees.

Of the three bills, only one came from republicans and the other two were from democrats.

House bill one, which follows Governor Bevin’s plan would encourage more than 100 public employers to leave the state’s retirement system.

In exchange for leaving and paying off their pension liabilities in one lump sum or over 30 years, the employers would get financial incentives.

Around 7,000 employees would have pensions frozen and place in a 401-K type account.

Everyone would stay in the system under house bill two and three filed by democrats.

Those plans would make the pension contribution rates permanent.

To offset the costs, democrats want to shift money from the retiree health care fund to the pension plan.

Democratic Minority Leader, Rocky Adkins doesn’t agree with Bevin calling this special session.

“I think it’s a very dangerous precedent when you start seeing these rulings that rule bills out of order, amendments out of order because of the specificity of the call. I think it drives a stake in the heart of legislative independence,” said Rocky Adkins.

House Speaker, David Osborne disagrees.

“Certainly it is the governor’s prerogative. It is a very narrow call, but it is his prerogative to do so and I think section 80 of the Constitution clearly gives him that ability,” said David Osborne.

House Speaker, Osborne is confident they will be able to pass a bill within the five days.

Committees will meet on Saturday to discuss the bills.