Results trump timetable on pension fix
Published 12:35 pm Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Although there is certainly a need to move with a sense of urgency, Kentucky lawmakers need to focus on finding the right solution rather than the fast one when it comes to overhauling the state’s failing pension systems for government employees.
After recent proposals have been met with strong opposition, Gov. Matt Bevin has gone back and forth on whether he would call a special legislative session before the end of the year or just wait until the regular session in January.
We hope the governor doesn’t try to rush this process over the next three weeks or so — which includes two holidays —simply to hit a somewhat arbitrary deadline.
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That approach is sure to result in partisan division and a rushed solution that simply doesn’t allow all parties enough time to analyze any proposal.
With that said, we do urge Bevin to challenge legislators to come to the table next month with legitimate ideas and a true willingness to work across party lines to create a system that honors the promises that have been made in the past and allows for a sustainable program for future generations of employees.
Lawmakers should not lose sight of the fact we need an employee retirement package that allows Kentucky to be competitive when it comes to hiring and keeping good employees.
We are by no means advocating a lack of action, as thousands of state employees remain very much in limbo when it comes to knowing what the future holds in regards to retirement benefits. This creates significant stress and hardship on Kentucky’s families, In many cases, as we have seen here in Clark County, this uncertainty has helped push good employees out the door to retirement sooner than would have likely been the case.
The legislature has allowed this problem to grow for decades; it is truly a case where the snowball has become the avalanche.
Now is the time to correct it, but it must be done through creating a transparent process that allows all parties the time needed to analyze proposals before deciding what will be best for our state.