As the clock winds down on the 2016 session of the Kentucky General Assembly the state’s chamber of commerce is urging the House of Representatives to vote on a senate-passed measure that would help address the $36 billion funding shortfall in Kentucky’s public pension systems.
“Senate Bill 2 would tighten up how the retirements systems would do their contracts, how board members are appointed, how they pay their consultants, how they pay their staffs,” said Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson. “Senate Bill 2 would provide more oversight by the legislature of our pension systems.”
Adkisson considers SB2 the most significant pension reform bill proposed during this legislative session. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 38-0 and has cleared a house committee.
“All eyes in Kentucky now are on the House of Representatives to see if they will pass Senate Bill 2, without watering it down, with the teeth in it that were intended, so that we can have oversight and transparency for our pension systems going forward,” said Adkisson.
While the need to address the state’s public pension crisis has been one of the top priorities of the Kentucky Chamber for years, the state’s top business organization launched a statewide campaign on the crisis in February. During the campaign, the Chamber released “A Citizen’s Guide to Kentucky’s Pension Crisis” to help Kentuckians gain a better understanding of how the crisis developed, how Kentucky compares with the rest of the nation, what changes have been made so far and the magnitude of the threat the situation poses for the state’s financial future. A website, kypensioncrisis.com, social media platforms, newspaper ads and billboards were also facets of the campaign.
“Several factors contributed to the pension-funding shortfall, which has been building for many years. Although it will take time to fix the problem, failing to do so puts the state’s financial stability and economic growth at serious risk,” said Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Dave Adkisson. “Please urge your representative to vote ‘yes’ on Senate Bill 2.”