Special Session Begins in Frankfort

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

A special session of the Kentucky General Assembly to address the state’s chronically underfunded pension system is underway in Frankfort. Retirement systems for teachers and state employees are hemorrhaging red ink, but House Speaker Jody Richards says lawmakers are poised to take a giant leap toward long-term financial stability.

Surrendering his gavel so he could speak from the floor, Richards said proposed pension system design changes “constitute a major break with the past.”

“Newly hired state employees will work longer, before they can retire with full or partial pension and health care benefits. The practice of double-dipping is over,” he said.

Richards says the House intends to vote on the pension reform bill by Wednesday. The measure would then move to the Senate. The overall goal is to have the bill in the governor’s hands by Friday.