Kentucky Democrats put forth pension fix plan

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WKYT) - Democratic leaders in the Kentucky House are making a play for bipartisanship with new state pension repair proposals.

House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins said Thursday that Democrats are acting "in good faith" with two proposals to try "to work a way forward."

"We are not here to grandstand. We are only here to make proposals that we believe are sound," Adkins said.

Adkins says leaders in the Republican-led House, including Speaker David Osborne, have met with Democrats to discuss the proposals. He says no commitments have been made, and Republicans hold a supermajority in both the House and Senate, meaning they do not need Democratic votes.

But Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has struggled to cobble together support for his pension repair proposal that would replace a Republican-approved bill that Bevin vetoed in April. Bevin has yet to call a special session to put forth the proposal.

Sister station WKYT reports both of the bills Democrats proposed would freeze the pension rate and redirect health insurance payments for five years to the lower-funded pension side. The second bill also calculates employer costs and increases payroll growth from zero to one percent per year.

"Some of the things that we heard out there about freezing the rates and having sort of political manipulation of the assumptions so that we can fund at a lower level are some of the things that caused us problems to begin with," said Bryan Sunderland, Governor Bevin's deputy chief of staff.

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