With a Republican-controlled Senate and a Democratic-led House, the Kentucky Legislature had been mired in political gridlock through most of the past decade.
Passage of a potentially volatile pension reform bill on Tuesday may indicate things have changed.
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and Republican Senate President Robert Stivers had promised a new day of bipartisan cooperation coming into the legislative session in January. Both political leaders, along with Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo, point to the pension reforms as evidence that they were true to their word.
Through intensive talks, Republicans and Democrats forged an agreement to shore up pensions for state government retirees. Republicans agreed to tweaks to the state tax code to generate needed cash. Democrats agreed to a 401(k)-like retirement plan for newly hired state workers.