No one should be surprised in the 2010 or 2012 budget session when Frankfort politicians decide not to fund public employee benefits to the level they set a “goal” for in HB 1.
After having all last week and the weekend to analyze the bill ask people about it, Frankfort’s own newspaper doesn’t quite grasp the issue. They surely can’t be counted on to hold anyone’s feet to the fire.
From today’s front page story:
“As part of a compromise plan, legislators met last week and approved a plan to pay the full annual amount by 2025. The biennial budget approved earlier this year funds pensions at only 35 percent of the required amount.
Lawmakers cannot impose financial obligations on future General Assemblies, but they have pledged to increase contributions to 53 percent of the required pension payments by 2013. Payments would reach 77 percent in 2019 and 100 percent by 2025.”
At no point in the story does it explain that even if the annual funding does reach 100 percent in 2025, the $27 billion shortfall will still be there and will have grown.
The State Journal story really was odd. After starting off with a quote from Kentucky Retirement Systems head Mike Burnside that full annual funding by 2025 is “a big if,” is slides downhill quickly. The next move is to quote some expert named Sujit CanagaRetna saying the bill “is a pretty bold step.”
Reporter Paul Glasser could have easily gotten someone to say “no it isn’t” to beef up his front page story, but he did not.
The last third of the story (seriously) is about Illinois.
Grab the link to the story while it lasts, if you want.