pensions

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

Parents call on the Cincinnati Public Schools district to reform its bus system after a series of problems results in students not getting picked up, being dropped off at the wrong stops, and parents frantically trying to find their kids when they didn't come home on time. 

Kentucky’s ailing pension funds might finally start getting healthier, according to estimates provided to lawmakers on Monday.

The pot of money used to send out retirement checks to most of Kentucky’s public workers — KERS non-hazardous — is currently among the worst-funded in the nation at 12.9 percent.

But Rich Robben, Executive Director of the Office of Investments for Kentucky Retirement Systems, says that after massive infusions of cash into the pension system by the legislature in recent years, that funding level might go up by 2 percentage points next year.


ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

Former Judge Tracie Hunter was dragged out of a courtroom this week after being sentenced to jail. Her sentencing sparked shouts in the courtroom, protests in front of two other judges' homes, and community-wide discussion and commentary about the state of race relations in Cincinnati.

Gov. Matt Bevin has signed a bill into law that allows Kentucky’s regional universities and “quasi” state agencies to avoid a massive spike in pension costs in exchange for exiting the state’s ailing pension systems.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s pension bill narrowly passed the Kentucky House of Representatives after hours of debate Monday. It now heads to the state Senate, where it is expected to have more support.

Lawmakers are in the middle of a special legislative session to deal with a massive spike in pension costs for regional universities and small state agencies like health departments, rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters.

Republican leaders of the legislature are only considering one proposal — a bill crafted by Bevin that would all the agencies to “buy out” of the state’s ailing pension system and incentivize them to move employees into less-generous 401k-style retirement plans.

Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposal to allow regional state agencies and other state agencies to buy out of Kentucky’s struggling pension system has passed a legislative panel.

Democrats in Kentucky’s House of Representatives have unveiled two bills to try and address surging pension costs currently being experienced by the state’s regional universities and small agencies like health departments.

The proposals come as Gov. Matt Bevin has been trying to rally support for his own bill and has promised to call a special session for state lawmakers to vote on it.

 


A leader in Kentucky’s House of Representatives says Gov. Matt Bevin’s special legislative session on pensions will have to start on July 19, or else regional universities, health departments and others will have to wait until after a critical deadline to receive relief from a massive increase in their pension costs.

The state’s Democratic former attorney general and a former reporter are dropping a lawsuit they filed against Ohio’s largest public pension fund. But they say they’re just getting started in trying to find answers to questions about all five funds.

With Kentucky’s regional universities and other agencies facing a massive spike in pension costs starting July 1, Gov. Matt Bevin’s office says he won’t call a special legislative session to address the issue until later in July or August.

When Gov. Matt Bevin vetoed the pension bill that passed out of the legislature last month, he promised to call lawmakers back to Frankfort to do it all over again in a special legislative session before July 1.

But the timing of the yet-to-be-announced session is complicated, because state universities affected by the measure say they need clarity on whether they will face massive increases in the amount they have to contribute to the pension systems when they start writing their budgets on June 1.

kentucky teacher protest
Ryland Barton

Lawmakers say they've been fielding lots of questions from teachers — including whether their presence at the Capitol has made any difference.

Kentucky lawmakers have advanced a bill that would allow regional universities and “quasi” state agencies like local health departments, mental health departments and rape crisis centers to exit the state’s pension systems, ultimately increasing the unfunded status of the retirement fund for most state workers.

kentucky state capitol building
Peter Fitzgerald / Wikimedia

There are only four working days left in this year's legislative session, but a lot can happen in a short period of time in the Kentucky General Assembly.

A House Committee has advanced a controversial bill that drew protests from hundreds of Kentucky educators in Frankfort Thursday.

The bill — House Bill 525 — would change the membership of the board of trustees that manages the teacher pension plan. On Wednesday, a teacher advocacy group called on educators to call in sick Thursday and arrive at the Capitol en masse to protest the bill. Hundreds showed up, flooding the bill’s committee hearing with the line wrapping across the lawn.

On the last day that Kentucky lawmakers could file bills, a freshman Republican filed a bill to move future Kentucky teachers into a new pension system.

The legislation is the latest attempt to address the low funding levels of Kentucky’s retirement systems for public workers by altering benefits.

Rep. Scott Lewis, a Republican from Hartford and sponsor of the bill, says the new proposal would still provide teachers with “defined benefit” pensions that guarantee monthly payments upon retirement, but it wouldn’t be as generous as what current teachers get.

Leaders of the Kentucky legislature have formed a new group tasked with reviewing and analyzing the state’s pension systems, which are underfunded and have been the subject of controversial reform attempts in recent years.

New Year, New Problems For The Tri-State

Jan 4, 2019
cincinnati edition
Jim Nolan / WVXU

Several Cincinnati City Council members and the Cincinnati chapter of the NAACP call for the firing of two Cincinnati Police officers, one black and one white, for using the same racial slur.

A little less than 24 hours after Gov. Matt Bevin summoned lawmakers to Frankfort to make changes to the state’s pension systems, the legislature voted to end the special session.

After Gov. Matt Bevin called a surprise legislative session on Monday afternoon, state lawmakers traveled to Frankfort and began working on a new attempt to overhaul the state’s pension systems.

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