Senate sends public pension bill to House on 33-5 vote

jbrammer@herald-leader.comFebruary 7, 2013 

Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, is the Senate majority floor leader.

FRANKFORT — The Senate approved a bill Thursday to overhaul Kentucky's pension system but did not address how to fund the changes.

On a vote of 33-5, the Senate sent Senate Bill 2 to the House for its consideration. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, has said the bill needs to specify how it would raise money for the ailing pension system.

The legislation, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, calls for full funding of pension plans for state employees — including legislators and judges — by fiscal year 2015.

Taking that action would cost an additional $100 million or more in its first year.

The bill also would end automatic cost-of-living adjustments in retirement benefits and create a hybrid 401(k)-style retirement plan for future hires. Teachers' pensions would not be affected.

The measure reflects the work of a task force last year.

Voting against the bill were Republican Sen. Tom Buford of Nicholasville and Democratic Sens. Walter Blevins of Morehead, Julian Carroll of Frankfort, Ray Jones of Pikeville and Robin Webb of Grayson.

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