Frankfort, KY – Jim Waters, president and chief executive officer of the Bluegrass Institute, issued the following statement reacting to Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of House Bill 258, which creates a new pension system for new teachers:
“Gov. Beshear should not veto sound, commonsense and widely supported pension-reform legislation like House Bill 258 while in a state of denial about the unsustainability of continuing to take a 20th-century approach to 21st-century pension policy.
“By creating a new tier in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), HB 258 offers a creative, fair and sustainable approach first offered by the Bluegrass Institute with the goal of providing a generous defined-benefit pension for new teachers, protecting taxpayers and stopping the growth of TRS’ unfunded liabilities, which currently stand at around $15 billion.
“Beshear used his veto pen to confirm his support for the old broken-down way of the past that’s resulted in TRS having less than 60% of the assets needed to fulfill its obligations, despite record infusions of cash in recent state budgets.
“The Bluegrass Institute supports a defined-benefit plan for new teachers, especially since they’re not enrolled in Social Security. However, such a pension policy can only happen if there are the types of changes found in HB 258.
“Another indication the governor suffers from a serious case of continuing in 20th-century denial about a 21st-century problem are his continuous claims that the reforms in HB 258 will keep young people from entering the teaching profession and the commonwealth from attracting and retaining educators. But the mobility of this approach offers the kind of pension plan that will attract, rather than repel, teachers.
“Finally, Beshear’s veto indicates denial of the hard work put forth by primary bill sponsor Rep. Ed Massey and a wide group of legislators and stakeholders to pass significant pension reform, especially considering past heated, but unproductive, battles in this policy area.
“A substantial number of lawmakers voted to pass this bill and send it to the governor; these same lawmakers should now override his veto and create this badly needed new plan for new teachers.”
For more information, contact Jim Waters at (270) 320-4376 or email@example.com.
— to bipps.org