Bill to address legislator pension spiking passes through state Senate
On Wednesday, a bill to stop the spiking of pension benefits of legislators who go on to serve in a government role at a higher salary passed through a Senate committee and through the full Senate with only two pass votes on the floor.
Senate Bill 6, sponsored by Sen. Damon Thayer, would only impact a certain group of legislators who were elected during a certain time period and go on to be appointed to a higher paying position in government. A bill was passed in recent years that stopped pension spiking for those elected after 2014.
Pension benefits are based on an individual’s highest three years of salary. Senate Bill 6 would prohibit using pay from non-legislative jobs to go toward their legislative pension.
Thayer noted former Gov. Matt Bevin had an executive order that prohibited such spiking by former legislators who joined his administration or other areas of state government. Gov. Andy Beshear has rescinded that executive order and Thayer said it should now be dealt with through legislation as some former legislators have already gone on to new positions in the executive branch.
Without the bill, Thayer gave examples of former House Democratic Floor Leader Rocky Adkins and Democratic Rep. Dennis Keene whose pensions would spike if they work in their new positions within the Beshear administration for three years. Former state Sen. Dorsey Ridley has also been appointed to a position in the administration but Thayer said the bill would not apply to him as he is already drawing his legislative pension.
Senate Bill 6 now moves to the House to be considered in committee.