Legislative Update: Senate and House pass pension bills, education measure clears first hurdle

Senate pension priority bill passes

Senate Bill 2, a bill to bring more transparency and oversight to the state’s retirement systems, passed the state Senate Tuesday with a 38-0 vote.

The legislation, sponsored by Public Pension Oversight Board co-chair Sen. Joe Bowen, seeks to bring more accountability to the system by making changes to board structures including gubernatorial appointments, and requiring the systems to follow KRS Chapter 45A, the model procurement code.

Other changes to the three retirement systems, Kentucky Retirement System (KRS), Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (KTRS) and the Judicial Retirement System, such as:

  • Disclosure of fees and contracts
  • Prohibiting the use of placement agents by the systems
  • Confirmation of appointments and/or contracts by the Senate
  • Uniform methods of reporting and disclosing investment fees

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has long been concerned about the unfunded liability of the state’s retirement systems and has advocated for a number of changes to improve the systems as well as measures to bring transparency to the pension systems.

Senate Bill 2 now heads to the House to be heard in committee.

Pension bill to change KRS Board structure clears House

House Bill 263 filed by Rep. Brent Yonts passed the House Tuesday with a 92-0 vote.  The bill would require that two of the trustees appointed to the Kentucky Retirement System Board of Trustees have investment experience requiring 10 years of experience “as a chartered financial analyst (CFA) in good standing by the CFA Institute.”  The bill also calls on the CFA Society of Louisville to supply the Governor with a list of three qualifying applicants from which the Governor may appoint.

The legislation passed Tuesday with a floor amendment introduced by the bill’s sponsor to further expand the definition of investment experience.

House Bill 263 now heads to the Senate to be heard in committee.

Bill to give superintendents more hiring flexibility passes committee

House Bill 184, a bill to give superintendents another tool in their hiring process, passed the House Education Committee Tuesday with three legislators passing on the vote and all others voting yes.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Donohue, gives superintendents in Jefferson County a greater role in principal selection by allowing them to recommend a principal to the site selection committee for final approval.

Donohue and others testifying Tuesday said the legislation would help solve an issue within the school system that deters talented, qualified applicants from taking a job as a principal at a low-performing school.

When asked by members of the committee why the bill is specific to Jefferson County and not statewide, the proponents of the bill explained they see this legislation as a pilot project and the process could be expanded statewide.

Now that the bill has passed the Education Committee, House Bill 184 now moves to the full House for a vote on the floor.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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