Gov. Matt Bevin told us last month after scuttling his special session promise on pension reform that a such a bill would be passed during the first two weeks of the regular session.
As of Monday, the first week of the 2018 session had come and gone and no one had introduced a pension bill in the General Assembly.
It appears our governor again misjudged the legislature’s intentions.
Surely he can see that the 62 Republicans in the Kentucky House are splitting into factions over several issues.
Those include sexual misconduct allegations, the decision of House Speaker Jeff Hoover not to resign and strong opposition to the original pension reform proposal.
The GOP had 64 House members in 2017 but one resigned for health reasons and another committed suicide after being accused of sexual assault. Special elections will fill both seats in the next month.
Meanwhile, the 36 Democrats in the House and various groups representing current and retired public employees remain very much in the
dark about how a new reform bill will be different from last fall’s proposed pension fix.
Some legislative observers are saying Bevin might need to find some Democratic votes to get to the magic number of 51 in the House.
We believe the governor is making the atmosphere worse by his description of “brutal” for the process of writing a new state budget for 2018-20.
He claims $1 billion must be cut from existing programs to shore up the state’s eight pension plans which are estimated to be nearly $44 billion short of what is needed to fund future pensions and retiree healthcare.
Details of his “slash and burn” approach to budgeting for the next two years will be revealed Jan. 16 in a speech to the legislature.
We recommend that the governor stop trying to bully those who disagree with him.
He seems often to forget that he was elected to say and do what is best for all of Kentucky, not just his ritzy neighbors in Louisville and others of wealth and privilege.