Kentucky legislature forms bipartisan pension working group

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - It's been a busy four days for both the House and the Senate.

We've seen a discussion on various topics like medical marijuana, school safety and of course, the public pension system.

Kentucky legislative leaders have appointed a bipartisan working group to examine the state's troubled public pension system.

Kentucky has one of the worst-funded public pension systems in the country. Last year, the Republican-controlled legislature passed a pension bill with no Democratic support. The state Supreme Court struck the law down in December.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin called lawmakers back in session in December to pass a version of the law again. But lawmakers adjourned without passing anything.

The new working group includes members from both parties and is a reset of sorts in pension negotiations. The panel will have its first meeting on Tuesday in Frankfort. Members include Republican Senate President Robert Stivers, House Democratic Caucus chairman Derrick Graham, and GOP Rep. Travis Brenda, a high school math teacher.

Speaker David Osborne says pension reform is something that will take a lot of cooperation, education and negotiation and it's something they don't want to rush.

"It is certainly not my hope or preference that we don't have one before we leave, but I think we have to be realistic," said Osborne.

Minority Leader Rocky Adkins says Democratic members stand united in their belief 2013 and 2008 reforms are working, and hope if pension reform does happen that it is a bipartisan effort.

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