Amended bill to require state to fully fund Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System passes House

An amended version of House Bill 1 to require the General Assembly to meet its full obligation to the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (KTRS) by putting the language in statute passed the House overwhelmingly Tuesday evening with an 86-11 vote.

The committee substitute which was passed in committee and presented on the House floor stripped the provisions for bonding the $3.3 billion and replaced it with language stating that the legislature must fully fund the Actuarial Required Contribution (ARC) every year using General Fund dollars.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, the sponsor of House Bill 1, said on the floor Tuesday evening that the bonding set forth in the original version of his bill was no longer necessary as the House Democrats used existing dollars to fully fund the ARC for the teachers’ system in their version next two-year budget.

Stumbo said this bill sends a “clear signal” to teachers that the legislature is working to fix the issues within the system.

Offering a floor amendment to House Bill 1, Republican Rep. Brad Montell proposed changing the legislation to reflect parts of the plan put forth by the House GOP to shore up the state’s woefully underfunded pension systems.

The House GOP plan which Montell argued for on the House floor contains a four year phase in plan to fully fund the ARC for KTRS, maximize available federal dollars, keep the $500 million “permanent fund” set aside in Governor Matt Bevin’s version of the budget and more.

Montell said their plan is a permanent funding solution for KTRS funded through recurring funds which are not present in any other plan.

Stumbo responded to the proposal by saying the House GOP plan “kicks the can down the road” and said it is “not good public policy to leave any governor with $500 million slush fund that you don’t know what they are going to do with it.”

Montell’s amendment was voted down by the House with 44 members voting yes and 53 voting no.

As the newly presented House Bill 1 has passed the House, it now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Categories: 2016 General Assembly, Pensions, Taxes & Budget

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