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Pension problems discussed at town hall meeting

By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: Rebekah Pewitt Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Community members were able to talk with county officials as well as State Senator Brandon Smith and Representative Fitz Steele about their concerns.

Worries about the pension system made for some heated conversations.
The threat of losing retirement funds has many upset, and they voiced their frustrations at Friday night's town hall meeting.

“It's funny that the people they rape the money from are the public servants and the employees that work for nothing anyway,” said Regina Brown with the Letcher County School System.

The Perry County Judge Executive called the meeting after receiving a report from the Kentucky Association of Counties.

It shows the pension system has a 33 billion dollar deficit.

“What happens to those retirees that are in the system but the money's not there for anymore? You know that could be us,” said Brown.

Senator Smith assured them that a new bill moving through the General Assembly would make sure future changes will not affect those already in the system.

“I see it going to a conference committee and I do see some kind of solution coming out of that, said Representative Fitz Steele.

“This is a big bill it's a big crisis people are concerned about it and people need to know that we're on the job taking care of it,” said Smith.

Senate Bill 2 has yet to be voted on by the house.

There have been several ideas floating around about generating money for the pension system.

Those include horse racing tracks and raising the cigarette tax.

Governor Beshear has said he is willing to call a special legislative session if lawmakers do not get the issue ironed out.

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