New Pension Bill Still In The Works As General Assembly Returns

Jan 3, 2018

Kentucky lawmakers are still working on revisions to a massive bill that would overhaul the state's pension systems. But a statehouse sexual harassment scandal is slowing down the process.

In October, Gov. Matt Bevin and Republican leaders of the legislature unveiled a plan that would phase out the state's use of a pension system that guarantees benefits for life and also tinker with benefits of current employees.

The proposal was met with widespread backlash from state employees and lawmakers promised to revise the bill so it could be considered early-on in this year's legislative session.

Senate President Robert Stivers said a sexual harassment scandal and ensuing leadership shakeup have delayed the revisions.

"I don't think it's derailing, but I think it's somewhat slowing the process, there's no doubt about that."

House Speaker Jeff Hoover has temporarily relinquished the speakership to Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne while the Legislative Ethics Commission investigates whether Hoover sexually harassed a staffer.

On Wednesday, eight lawmakers filed a complaint against Hoover over the allegations.

Three other Republican lawmakers have been removed from committee chairmanships after being implicated in the scandal.

Osborne said lawmakers are still focused on pensions despite a sexual harassment scandal still unfolding in the capitol.

"People will have time to read the bill, as will all of our members. We've said all along that our members will have adequate time to understand the bill and communicate with their constituents."