Bevin In Colorado While Kentucky Lawmakers Meet In Session
While Kentucky lawmakers are working on a pension bill he wants them to pass, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has been in Colorado talking trade with the vice president.
The campaign of Bevin's Democratic challenger calls it a "complete lack of leadership" for Bevin to be out of the state while lawmakers meet in a special session that Bevin convened.
A photo showing Bevin attending a speech by Vice President Mike Pence at a Republican Governors Association event in Colorado was circulated Tuesday on Twitter.
Bevin faces a tough reelection challenge from Democrat Andy Beshear.
Beshear's campaign said Tuesday that Bevin "can't even be bothered to show up" as lawmakers debate his pension proposal.
Bevin tweeted that he met with Pence to discuss trade issues affecting Kentucky.
A special legislative session costs taxpayers about $66,000 daily.
Pension Bill On The Move
Meanwhile, Bevin’s proposed pension relief fix is one step closer to becoming law.
Tuesday, a Senate committee gave its approval to the plan, which freezes pension costs for quasi-governmental agencies for one more year while offering several options to stay in or exit the state’s retirement system.
Democratic Sen. Morgan McGarvey said the bill doesn’t strike at the heart of the problem.
"It desn't fix the unfunded liability," the Louisville lawmaker told reporters. "It just further weakens the system by stripping people's pensions away (that) people think they're going to be earning."
But Republican Senate leader Damon Thayer argued the General Assembly shouldn’t “give up the good for the sake of the perfect.”
"We said all along that this is not going to solve all the problems. It is a positive step in the right direction," Thayer said.
The full Senate is expected to take up the Wednesday. Without any action, regional universities, county health departments, rape crisis centers, and other quasi-public entities face steep pension increases that could cause some to close.