Local legislators discuss pension bill

Rep. Walker Thomas

The Senate State and Local Government Committee will have to get back to work on crafting a pension reform compromise soon for legislation to make it to Governor Bevin’s desk by the end of the 2018 session.

Senate Bill 1 was sent back to committee Friday after there weren’t enough votes there to pass the full chamber. The sticking point has been the reduction of annual cost of living adjustments for retired teachers from 1.5 to 1 percent and Representative Myron Dossett of Pembroke says he won’t vote for a version that makes it to the House if the COLA is reduced.

Senator Whitney Westerfield hopes the COLA can be restored to 1.5 percent in committee, but reminds that the data will have to be analyzed again on any amendments made before the full Senate can take a vote.

Representative Walker Thomas also believes the COLA must be restored to 1.5 percent before the bill will be acceptable for a majority of lawmakers.

The Senate also has the biennial budget in its hands, more than two-thirds of the way through the 2018 session.