Taking liberty to the airwaves: BIPPS pension report gets statewide attention

Join Jim Waters, vice president for communications, as he discusses the Bluegrass Institute’s latest report on Kentucky’s public pension crisis today (Tuesday, Jan. 10) on radio shows across the commonwealth. Read the report here. Waters will be on the Sue Wylie Show on News Talk 590 WVLK-AM in Lexington at 10 a.m. eastern (listen live here), followed by…

Future Shock: Legislators stoking the coals on Kentucky’s runaway pension train

For Immediate Release: Contact: Jim Waters Thur., Jan. 5, 2012 270-782-2140 Future Shock: Legislators stoking the coals on Kentucky’s runaway pension train (right-click & save target as…) A failure to meet pension-payment requirements 11 of the last 15 years leads to a 3,000 percent increase in the Bluegrass State’s unfunded liability since 2000 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) –…

‘Air time’ and public pension funding

USA Today has a package of stories on public pensions. Specifically, the stories explain how the purchase of “air time,” a method of pension spiking, contributes to pension funding problems. In short, “air time” is credit for work not performed. Workers can pay for this extra service credit as a share of their current salary.…

How should we measure ‘productivity’ in the legislature?

A productive legislature is one that does … what, exactly? The Washington Post today argues that Congress is about to wrap up one of its least “productive” sessions in recent memory. The headline on Bob Pershing’s column reads, “In 2011, fewer bills, fewer laws and plenty of blame.” Pershing writes Regardless of whether you want…

Taxpayers on the hook for part-time pensions?

In the Lexington Herald-Leader’s watchdog series, Bill Estep printed a story Sunday about Kentucky taxpayers funding hundreds of part time pensions for city council members all over the state. Funding part-time pensions with taxpayer dollars is something that will only receive more attention in the months and years to come. Governments at all levels across the…

Blast from a past ‘Bluegrass Beacon’ column: Beauty and the gambling beast

This from an August 2007 Bluegrass Beacon column, “Beauty and the gambling beast” about then-gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear’s wager on expanded gambling to fix Kentucky’s fiscal woes seemed appropriate about now, since the issue is back.   If I was still wearing my reporter’s hat, I expect an interview with the candidate would go something like this:…