House rejects costly pension bill

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – The Kentucky House of Representatives has rejected a bill that would let some entities leave the struggling pension system while paying less than they owe.

House Bill 358 would let quasi-governmental entities like universities and public health departments leave the Kentucky Employees Retirement System without paying what they owe. State officials said it could cost the already underfunded system as much as $1 billion.

The state Senate approved the bill by a vote of 25-12 on Wednesday, arguing it would protect the entities that cannot afford skyrocketing retirement contributions for their employees. But Thursday, the House rejected the bill. They sent it back to the Senate.

Lawmakers have to reach a compromise by midnight or they will lose the ability to override a potential veto by the governor.

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