Governor Matt Bevin says he’s optimistic the General Assembly will approve pension reform legislation before the end of this year’s session.
Speaking to WHOP News Tuesday morning, Bevin attributed part of the delay to distractions associated with sexual harassment allegations against former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and other legislators.
There has been stiff opposition to Senate Bill 1 from retired teachers, who would see their annual cost of living adjustment reduced from 1.5 to 1 percent. Governor Bevin says the pension systems will eventually fail without structural change and lawmakers have to act, regardless if it’s popular or not.
With only a few days left in this year’s session, Bevin says he remains confident pension reform will be accomplished in some form.
On other matters, Bevin believes the wholesale opioid tax proposed by members in the House wouldn’t stand up to legal challenges and he doesn’t support it as a new source of revenue to balance the budget.
He believes any increase to the cigarette tax should be part of overall tax code reform and feels the same way about a proposed 10-cent increase to the state’s gasoline tax.
Listen to our entire interview with Governor Bevin below.