In serving the heart of state government, I have been at the forefront of making sure our public retirement systems have what they need and that our retirees have the financial security they deserve. Earlier this year, I proudly stood with thousands of teachers, public workers, concerned citizens, and many of my legislative colleagues as we fought the passage of pension “reform,” which was unveiled and then passed in just a matter of hours. This legislation, which is now before the Kentucky Supreme Court, seeks to unfairly reduce benefits for thousands of public employees and current teachers, and it would cost taxpayers billions of dollars extra over the next several decades by re-setting the time to pay down the long-term liability. Under the law’s biggest change, teachers hired in 2019 and beyond would lose the retirement security that their profession has counted on for nearly 80 years.
There is not a single redeeming factor in this law, from the way it was written in secret and approved with no public input to the policy changes it calls for, Kentuckians deserve better, and when it comes to what government should do when it comes to the future of our public retirement systems, the advice we need to follow can be summed up in just two words: Fund them.