The two top priorities of the Kentucky General Assembly this year—pension reform and a two-year budget—still have to get done before the session ends and there could be progress on at least one of those items this week.
State Senator Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville hopes to see a pension reform bill this week.
Representative Lynn Bechler of Marion believes pension reform and the budget go hand in hand and believes pension reform should go first.
Representative Myron Dossett serves on the Appropriations and Revenue Committee and expects a budget to come to the House floor in mid-to-late February.
One of the most unpopular parts of the governor’s proposed budget was the removal of funds for retired teachers’ healthcare costs until they are eligible for Medicare and Representative Walker Thomas believes most lawmakers want to find a way to restore that money.
Thomas says for that money to be restored, additional cuts will have to be made elsewhere as the General Assembly is required by the state constitution to have a balanced budget.