Senate Bill 12 could bring an end to legislators’ modern day gold rush

The Bluegrass Institute has long warned of the dangers and outright corruption that Kentucky’s system of legislative pensions brings to the commonwealth.

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.