Governor Matt Bevin has vetoed legislation allowing local governments to cover pension cost increases over time. In his veto message, Bevin said it’s not the phase-in section of the measure which worries him. The governor says some buy out provisions create too much risk to retirement systems and could burden taxpayers.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Chris McDaniel says many groups can’t meet the eminent pension increases. “That risk is already inherent in the retirement system because a lot of these quasi’s that we’re giving the option to get out simply can’t pay the bill when their rates go up. And so, this was an attempt to give them the ability to pay what they owed over a little bit longer period,” explained McDaniel.
The “quasi’s” he is referring to are quasi-government agencies such as community mental health, domestic violence, rape crisis, and children’s advocacy centers. McDaniel says these groups provide some critical services across the Commonwealth.
In his veto message, the governor urged lawmakers to restore the phase-in portion of the bill for local governments when they return in mid April.