Pension Update As of 11/13/17
Recently, the KY House has been in some turmoil due to a sexual harassment claim and possible cover-up. While our legislators are dealing with this issue, we need to continue to contact them with messages about the pension issue. We have a lot of momentum from many successful forums and rallies, so we need to continue to keep the pressure on! Many representatives have been responsive to the voice of the people and are saying they would not vote for the bill in its current form. However, the last we heard, the Senate still has the votes to pass the bill as-is. So we need to especially target our messaging toward our senators. While the House leadership is up in the air, we must make sure that all of the legislators are informed on this issue.
Action #1: Contact your legislators with this message:
Find Funding First!
No Special Session!
Stop the war on public education and public services!
1. Find Funding First.
Here is an article with 38 different funding suggestions for the pension crisis. Share it with your legislators and tell them the sources of funding that you support!
Here is an additional article with a report from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy (KCEP) including a link to a revenue options report.
2. The Governor’s draft bill for pensions is MORE EXPENSIVE. The first actuarial report on the Governor’s draft bill has been released. And it is NOT good….for the Governor!
Click the links below to see the AP article about this report as well as some additional information from KCEP.
Action #2: Contact your local chambers of commerce
The governor is using the KY Chamber of Commerce to try to advance his pension agenda. In addition, he has been having meetings with local chambers of commerce all over the state. Please reach out to your local chamber and ask them to come out publicly against the Governor’s pension proposal.
Here is a link to an article about the Murray/Calloway County Chamber of Commerce recent statement about the pension issue. We need more local chambers to do the same!
Action #3: Pension Forums
According to a recent poll, only 46% of KEA members in the state have attended a pension forum. Thus, there is still an opportunity to hold local forums so that the public is informed on the pension issue. These forums can include legislators, but you may also want to consider inviting representatives from KRS, CERS, TRS–or whatever pension system you can–representatives from the pension oversight committees, K-groups (KRTA, KASS, KEA, etc.), or other pension experts. If you need help planning a pension forum in your area, please contact me, and we will put you in touch with people who can help or will assist myself!
The Kentucky Association of School Superintendents (KASS), with input from other K-groups including KEA, presented the “Shared Responsibility Plan” for pensions that includes plans for the CERS and TRS pension systems. We do not support this plan for several reasons, but we will attach the plan to this email to let you decide for yourself. It is important to note that this plan is not written in bill form and does not have a sponsor. Here are 2 links to articles about the shared responsibility plan.
One reason why we do not support the Shared Responsibility Plan is that it does NOT offer any funding solutions. The reason that pensions and public services are in trouble in Kentucky is that, as a state, we forgive (i.e., do not collect) MORE taxes than we collect. We need more funding for pensions and other public services!
Another reason that we do not support the Shared Responsibility Plan is because we believe that public education and public pensions are a shared responsibility among all citizens of the commonwealth of Kentucky. In this plan, however, public employees would be making “sacrificial compromises” to attempt to remedy a problem that they did not cause. We believe it is up to the citizens of Kentucky as lead by our legislators to pay for public services and the pensions of those employees who provide them. Public education, public health, and public safety are all services that benefit every citizen, either directly or indirectly; therefore, we believe all citizens should have an interest in protecting the pensions of public employees.
Here is a link to a series of multiple articles about pension reform. https://forwardky.com/pension-
Here is a link to the Save Our Schools Kentucky calendar. Our members are doing our best to make sure pension forums are added to this calendar as we hear about them. Check back for updates. http://www.saveourschoolsky.
Contact your legislators M-F 8:00-4:30pm at 1-800-372-7181 and find email addresses www.lrc.ky.gov or http://www.saveourschoolsky.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you have. Thank you for staying informed!
District Liaison for Save Our Schools Ky in Madison County
Member of KEA