A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky police chiefs applaud Beshear’s executive order on rehiring retired law enforcement

Retired law enforcement officers are permitted to be rehired and help communities deal with COVID-19 without risking the loss of curtailing retirement benefits under an executive order signed by Gov. Andy Beshear. The order, signed March 31, applies to retired police chiefs and other first responders including police officers, firefighters and other emergency medical service personnel. Kentucky law...

Kentucky auditor says more transparency is needed in state’s largest public pension systems

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Changes will be made to legislation passed in 2017 requiring more transparency in investments made by the public pension systems. During a meeting of the Public Pension Oversight Board on Monday afternoon, State Auditor Mike Harmon told panel members that a 12-month special examination of Kentucky’s public pension systems found the Kentucky Retirement Systems and the Kentucky...

Health departments have another year before pension hikes kick in, but some are already raising taxes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News While local health departments are more than grateful that legislation passed in the recent special legislative session gives them another year to manage their looming pension crisis, several counties have already asked for a tax increase as a way to help pay for it. The Kentucky Department of Public Health said in an email last week that it had received 63 of...

Health departments, employees making tough choices in wake of passage of Bevin’s pension bill

Kentucky’s health departments and their employees face some difficult decisions in the wake of the pension legislation passed in the recent special session of the General Assembly. The law written and signed by Gov. Matt Bevin freezes the pension costs of health departments for another year, at 49 percent of payroll, avoiding an increase to 83 percent, which would have forced layoffs and program...

Bill Straub: A billion here, a billion there adds up, but even KY House tax plan doesn’t go far enough

Legend has it that Winston Churchill, trying to draw the United States into WWII, famously said you can always count on the Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else. Apparently old Winnie, in his travels, never made it to the Bluegrass where, having tried ad infinitum to escape that which needs to be done, continues on its merry way ignoring its responsibilities and...

Bevin names two to Judicial Form Retirement System; Adams added to KRS board of trustees

Gov. Matt Bevin has made the following appointments to Kentucky boards and commissions: Anthony Charles “A. C.” Donahue and Stephen F. LeLaurin have been appointed to the Judicial Form Retirement System. Donahue, of Somerset, is a military veteran and subrogation attorney. Donahue will serve for a term expiring June 30, 2020. LeLaurin, of Louisville, is retired from the field of financial services....

PFM Group selected to conduct comprehensive review of state’s ailing pension systems

Fulfilling a promise made to address Kentucky’s number one issue, Gov. Matt Bevin has announced the selection of the PFM Group to provide consulting services for a comprehensive review of Kentucky’s state pension systems. “Reforming the state’s ailing pension systems is one of this administration’s top priorities,” said Bevin. “The findings that will come from this pension fund audit...

Kay pre-files bill designed to make state retirement system more transparent, less political

Looking to better insulate Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) from politics while making the agency more publicly accountable, state Rep. James Kay, D-Versailles, pre-filed legislation Wednesday that would block future gubernatorial re-organizations of its board of trustees, lift secrecy on investments and limit the size of any future raises that KRS leaders receive. “We need to take the politics...

Centre College CFO Farris named to Kentucky Retirement System board of trustees

John R. Farris, interim vice president of investments and chief financial officer at Centre College, has been named to the board of trustees of the Kentucky Retirement System, Gov. Matt Bevin announced. Farris, of Lexington, replaces Michael E. Cherry, of Princeton, whose term expired, for a term expiring March 31, 2020. Farris is also founder and president of Commonwealth Economics and LandFund Partners. He...

Chris Tobe: Kentucky’s worsening pension crisis needs attention – before it’s too late

Kentucky is in its greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, and most Kentuckians are clueless. The business community in Chicago woke up recently to find their state and city in financial ruin because they were not paying attention to the wheeling and dealing and the raiding of their pensions. Frankfort has been telling us that two-plus-two equals eight for the last 10 years, and the bad...

Chris Tobe: Kentucky's worsening pension crisis needs attention – before it's too late

Kentucky is in its greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, and most Kentuckians are clueless. The business community in Chicago woke up recently to find their state and city in financial ruin because they were not paying attention to the wheeling and dealing and the raiding of their pensions. Frankfort has been telling us that two-plus-two equals eight for the last 10 years, and the bad...