FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signaled on Monday that he has agreed to changes to his pension-relief plan as he continues trying to win enough support to take up the measure in a special legislative session this month.
The Republican governor has worked for weeks trying to build support for his proposal in the GOP-led legislature. Bevin didn’t indicate when he might call lawmakers back to the state Capitol to deal with the issue, but said he has agreed to revisions to his plan. The proposal aims to provide relief for some state-funded agencies struggling with surging retirement payments.
“It’s been amended on a number of fronts,” the governor said. “We’ve actually made changes to accommodate some of the things that people say they’d like to see.”
Bevin didn’t offer specifics. The governor is grappling with the politically treacherous pension issue as he seeks reelection this year. Bevin is being challenged by his political nemesis, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, in the November election.
Bevin’s proposal would replace a pension measure that he vetoed in April after lawmakers ended this year’s regular legislative session. Top lawmakers, caught off guard by the veto, have said it’s up to Bevin to line up support for his plan.
Unless action is taken, regional universities as well as county health departments, rape crisis centers and many other quasi-governmental agencies face ballooning pension costs on July 1. State leaders worry that inaction would strain the quasi-public agencies and lead to some bankruptcies, elimination of staff and loss of critical services for Kentuckians.