Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear Signs Pension Reform Legislation
FRANKFORT, KY – Celebrating the quick action and bi-partisanship of the five day special session of the Kentucky General Assembly, Gov. Steve Beshear today signed into law HB 1, the Pension Reform Act.
“The quick action by House and Senate leadership has brought about the intended results I outlined when I first challenged the General Assembly on May 29th to act on this issue,” said Gov. Beshear. “In signing House Bill 1 today, we have taken a giant step toward placing our pension systems on a sound financial basis by reducing out –of–control costs and setting target dates for the state to fully fund its share of the pension system. We are honoring our commitment to teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public employees by protecting their retirement benefits over the long term. And, together we have immediately eased a tremendous financial burden on the budgets of county and local governments and school districts.”
Those counties, cities and school districts are expected to realize immediate savings of approximately $56 million and the unfunded state liability to the pension system will be decreased by billions of dollars over the next few decades.
Gov. Beshear has also put into place a working group that is already meeting to address other issues on pension reform that require more study. The group has been directed by the Governor to provide him with recommendations by Nov. 1 that can then be considered in the 2009 legislative session.
“The work we face in coming months does not negate the success of what we, together, have accomplished this week,” said Gov. Beshear. “The passage of House Bill 1 required cooperation that transcended party lines, legislative chambers and the separate branches of government. It required respect, open dialogue and a focus on the public good, not partisan politics. And for that, I want to commend House Speaker Jody Richards and Senate President David Williams as well as the sponsors of the legislation, Rep. Mike Cherry and Sen. Damon Thayer for their work in accomplishing major pension reform.”
Listen to Gov. Beshear's statement (3.01MB MP3)
Watch video of the Governor's statement (13MB Windows Media)