The conversation about legislative pensions hasn’t slowed down. In fact, the extremely lucrative practice of reciprocity and rewarding part-time legislators with gold-plated pensions is becoming a major talking point in elections and political discussions across the state.
Most recently, former state legislator and current Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer stated on cn|2 Pure Politics that he advocates the abolishment of legislator pensions all together. Comer voted for HB 299 in 2005 which greatly enhanced legislator pension benefits. His acknowledgement that “… increasing legislative pensions is bad government” and his recommendation that these benefits be eliminated is a significant sign that attitudes about legislative pensions are changing.
(The pension discussion begins at 5:20)
While Comer himself is unable to take part in a legislative solution, he is a strong voice in Kentucky politics. The more politicians who speak out (particularly those who have benefited from HB 299) and advocate the eradication of taxpayer funded pensions for part-time legislators, the greater the likelihood that Kentucky’s General Assembly takes action to make that reality.
The Bluegrass Institute has released a series of reports in the past two years exposing the disastrous underfunding and abuse of Kentucky’s public pension system.