In a radio interview with WEKU, Kentucky Go. Matt Bevin suggested last week that instead of covering both tax reform and the state’s public pension system, the fall legislative session may only tackle pensions—leaving tax reform for another day.
“It may require a separate special session, or it may in fact require our ability to tag it on to this existing one, but at this moment in time, my thought is to focus first on the pension issue,” said Bevin. “That’s something we will be doing early this fall.”
Bevin also elaborated on his new pledge to not increase taxes to pay for the largely underfunded system, despite suggesting in his State of the Commonwealth address in February that a non-revenue neutral tax reform would need to be passed to prevent the collapse of the Kentucky Retirement System (KRS).
To address this, Bevin claimed that people had misinterpreted his suggestions to a non-revenue tax reform, saying that the Kentucky General Assembly would have to pass legislation that raises taxes to cover the system “over my veto.”
“I have in no way, shape or form ever said or implied, nor do I intend to balance the shortcomings of the pension system on the backs of taxpayers,” he told WEKU.
Bevin also has comments for legislators who have questioned special sessions relating to pensions or tax reform, whom he shared his plan with before lobbying to voters.
“If I, the governor, have to go out and make the case to legislators and to the people, then those legislators do not deserve to be representing people in Frankfort. They don’t understand the severity of this crisis,” Bevin said. “If they don’t come [to this special session] with their A game, if they don’t come intending to fix this problem, then they should not be sent back to Frankfort in 2018, that’s a straight-up fact.”
In the fiscal year ended June 30, KRS reported double-digit returns for all pension and insurance funds under management.