KY Legislature Breaks without Reconciling Pension Bill

March 14, 2007 ( - The Kentucky legislature ended its session Tuesday without pushing through a piece of pension legislation that some lawmakers say is needed now to fend off future problems, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

The hang up in the House has been over pension measure passed last week in the Senate that proposed the state take on more than $800 million in pension debt and help finance the system by selling bonds, which would be paid in $60 million increments over two decades.

The measure proposes no change to the benefits of current retirees and employees, but said that future state employees would have to be at least 55 years old and work an extra five years before they could retire with full benefits (See KY Senate OKs Bond Sale to Repay Pension Debt).

Despite urging from Governor Ernie Fletcher and other key lawmakers to push the bill through before the session ended, the House continued to hold off, saying the measure needed more work (See KY House Blocks Senate Bond Sale Proposal).

Senate President David Williams said he is holding out hope that the impasse can be settled if the governor follows through with his promise to call a special session if the bill was not reconciled before the legislature left.

I see no train wreck,” Williams said, according to the Courier-Journal. “They still have the opportunity to look at these bills, to come down here and work it. Now if we don’t pass these things, the governor’s going to call us back.”