Pension talks remain in limbo one week into legislative session

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lawmakers are one week into the new legislative session, yet the state's pension problem is still waiting to be solved.

It's been an admittedly slower start to the 2019 General Assembly by legislators. Despite the Senate working on several bills and already passing floor votes and the House discussing various topics, pension reform has yet to be brought up.

Speaker of the House David Osborne (R) said on Friday that pension reform is something that will take a lot of cooperation, education and negotiation. Lawmakers don't want to rush the process and make things worse.

"It is certainly not my hope or preference that we don't have one (a bill) before we leave, but I think we have to be realistic," Osborne said.

Contrarily, Minority Leader Rep. Rocky Adkins (D) and other democratic members stand united in their belief that 2008 and 2013 reforms are working. Yet, they hope if pension reform does happen then its a bipartisan effort.

"Stakeholders need to be at the table and their needs to be compromise," said Adkins. "The minority party wants a seat at the table."

Leaders did announce the formation of a bipartisan public pension working group tasked with analyzing the current pension systems and making recommendations for any changes.

Lawmakers, however, are now on break for a few weeks until the session resumes on February 5.

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