Gov. Matt Bevin should heed House Republicans’ call to wait until January to consider any overhaul of Kentucky’s public pension systems.
The regular legislative session begins Jan. 2. Trying to squeeze in a special session before the end of the year, as Bevin has repeatedly pledged, would preclude public input and force lawmakers to vote without analyzing revisions to a massive bill that in its original form had significant hidden problems.
A letter to Bevin, signed by at least 45 House Republicans, made that point. “We are confident that a solution can be found, but frankly we need more time for an actuarial analysis and public input on possible changes to the proposal.”
Or, as Republican Rep. Jason Nemes of Louisville said, “An issue of this magnitude needs to be available to the public for an appropriate amount of time, so they can look at it, see how it’s going to affect them.”
Only the governor can call the legislature into special session but either chamber can end it. With 45 members of the governor’s party on record opposing a special session and House Democrats unified against the Republican pension plan, no political acumen is required to anticipate that the 100-member House would quickly adjourn and go home.
Bevin’s fellow Republicans are trying to help him avoid the embarrassment and waste convening a special session that would accomplish nothing. He should return the favor.