Quasi-public agencies keeping close eye on Frankfort due to pension issue

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT/WKYT) - The drama surrounding Kentucky's pension system continues.

Our sister station WKYT reports, quasi-public agencies are keeping a close eye on Frankfort.

A rise in pension contribution rates is something they are used to, but the jump they are currently facing takes the responsibility from 49% to about 83%.

"What that means is an additional 31 million dollars for the community mental health centers will go to the pension and not the provisional services," said Steve Shannon of the Kentucky Association of Regional Programs.

Community mental health centers in Kentucky provide critical services to about 180,000 people a year. This is why they were thrilled the general assembly passed a bill that had a freeze in it that would lock them in at the 49% for another year.

"It gave us a chance to plan for the next steps," said Shannon.

However, that sense of relief was gone when Governor Matt Bevin vetoed the bill back in April. He instead drafted his own bill that does include the one year freeze, but not all lawmakers agree with the bill.

Bevin says he is waiting to call the special session until he has the support he needs. If nothing is passed the new rate will kick in July 1.

"People are trying to figure out what next year looks like. Our business year is July 1 to June 30th so we are wrapping up this year...what is going to happen what is the impact going to be," said Shannon.

Shannon says if there is no resolution before July 1, they are obligated to pay the 83% and there is no question services will be cut.

The leaders of several quasi-government groups sent a letter to lawmakers supporting the governor's proposal and asking them to move quickly.

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