Pension Problem Getting Down to the Wire

Many lawmakers across the Commonwealth have said pension reform is the biggest issue of this session and yesterday the Governor weighed in on the matter.

"Well, we've got two basic proposals, one from the house, one from the senate. I have the parties together. We're talking through the different issues that are in those proposals," said Governor Steve Beshear.

Those two separate proposals are what's holding up a solution.

The house wants to create streams to fund the system, streams like the lottery.

"We're also telling the lottery to do more games, create more money," said Rep. Brent Yonts D-Greenville.

However, the state senate says they don't like the house's idea.

"When the budget time comes around, the money will be there for that. On the house side, they don't want to do it without a dedicated funding stream. Which I personally don't think that that's good policy that you designate a funding stream for a certain thing rather than what comes into the general fund, you fund it with that as we do now," said Sen. Mike Wilson R-Bowling Green.

"A revenue stream has to be dedicated to fixing the problem. We cannot kick the can down the road, we must do it now," said Yonts.

It's a problem lawmakers say was created by not adequately funding the system and a downfall in the economy.

"Most people are talking about save my pension, but another thing is they don't like the aspect of not having COLA's, which we've had to suspend those. None of us like that either, but we're at a place if we do something within four years, they may not have a pension," said Wilson.

While others hold out for hope, Yonts is not as confident something will get done.

"At this moment in time, I don't see a lot of hope. The only thing that can change that would be the senate agreeing to come up with some revenue streams," said Yonts.

Lawmakers have until next week to come up with a solution. If the house and senate cannot come to a compromise, Gov. Beshear can call for a special session.

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