Public pension transparency is next.
You deserve to know how your money is being spent.
Contact your state legislator and let them know you want transparency now!
Learn more about public pensions here.
Not only are legislators allowed to base their legislative pensions on their highest paid years in any state position – even if that position paid five times more than their actual legislative salary – Kentuckians aren’t even allowed to know “who receives their hard-earned dollars in the form of pensions, or even how many pensions some state retirees get.”
Thanks in large part to our elected officials’ bloated pension payments, Kentucky now has one of the worst pension crises in the nation with an unfunded liability of $34 billion and a pension trough only 30 percent funded.
But Kentuckians could see some light at the end of the tunnel. A piece of legislation has already been filed in the 2013 legislative session that could put an end to our elected officials’ modern day gold rush.
Senate Bill 12 was introduced to the Kentucky Senate last week and if passed, it would actually close the Legislators’ Retirement Plan to new participants. The bill would also prohibit paydays earned in other state positions to be used as a basis for retirement benefits – starting after August 1st. So all those currently on the take would get to continue to feast at the public’s expense.
It’s not perfect, but the Bluegrass Institute’s message apparently is being heard in Kentucky’s Senate.
Feel free to download and use this picture for your social media accounts. This is a small way you can help bring awareness to the complete lack of transparency in Kentucky’s public pension system.
Dick Innes will be talking with host Mandy Connell on Louisville’s 84WHAS this morning about the new reports that show Kentucky ranks 10th, 35th or whatever for education. Tune in to find out how education reporting gets so confusing.
Today from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (eastern). Listen live here.
The following letter to the editor appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader last week.
More Kentuckians would be outraged if they knew that the state’s public pension system was legislated into secrecy in the early 1970s.
Included in KRS 61.661 is language that ensures public pension disbursements are not subject to open records laws. The law states “each current, former, or retired member’s account shall be administered in a confidential manner…”
Why is this a problem? Kentucky is currently saddled with — and broken by — a $34 billion unfunded public pension liability. Taxpayers don’t have a chance of holding their government accountable without transparency.
Taxpayers have access to public employee salary information, state contracts and school districts and executive branch check registers.
All of those items are available via the Kentucky Open Record Act so that taxpayers can understand how their hard earned money is being spent.
But if a taxpayer wants to know how much money is being spent to fund the gold-plated pension of a part-time legislator, well, they are out of luck.
Kentucky doesn’t allow transparency in its public pension system.
It is time for our legislators to have the courage to force transparency in the Kentucky Retirement Systems.
Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions
You can read more about Kentucky’s public pension crisis here.
The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions works with Kentuckians, pro-liberty coalitions, grassroots organizations and business owners to advance freedom and prosperity by promoting free-market capitalism, individual liberty and transparent government. Join Us