Impact of pensions on state budget will come into sharper focus soon
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Within the next two weeks, Kentucky policymakers are expecting to get a clearer view of the dimensions of the state's pension crisis.
Two key meetings, one Thursday and the other May 22, will provide information on how much the pension burden might rise and the limited (and unpopular) options available to deal with it.
Both could bolster Gov. Matt Bevin's call for tax reform and pension reform to address a problem that threatens to further tighten the budget screws on funding of education and other state needs.
“It has choked out everything else we try to do,” said Sen. Chris McDaniel, a Taylor Mill Republican who chairs the Senate budget committee. “If you’re an education advocate, if you’re a justice advocate, if you’re a treatment advocate, if you’re a child advocate, it doesn’t matter. What you believe the commonwealth should do is just being devastated by the fact that the funding has to go to pensions, and also to Medicaid, but pensions is the most explosive growth we have to deal with.”