Politics
7:00 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Kentucky Legislative Leaders: Pensions Will Be Top Issue in 2013

Figuring out how to finance a plan to shore up Kentucky public employees' pensions will be the General Assembly's greatest task in 2013, two legislative leaders said.

Greg Stumbo and Damon Thayer
Credit Legislative Research Commission

A legislative task force has suggested several ways to brace  state employee pensions, but passing legislation and paying for it will be difficult. Lawmakers' proposals include relying on existing economic growth and raising taxes on Kentuckians with higher earnings.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he hasn't settled on a solution.

“I think it’s going to require some sort of a dedicated funding source that is set aside just for the payment of those particular benefits," Stumbo said.

Other ideas include using recommendations from the tax reform commission and allowing natural economic growth to be redirected.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Damon Thayer said he agreed that addressing the pension issue will be legislators' most significant job in the upcoming session.

Both Stumbo and Thayer have ruled out one funding source: Any potential earnings from gambling, if it's legalized this year.