Last week we wrote about Minnesota and the collaborative process that led to the unanimous passage of pension legislation that will shore up the pension systems there. Minnesota showed the right way to do things: bring everyone to the table and negotiate in good faith. Other states have not followed this same path when dealing with public pensions. Kentucky also passed a major piece of pension legislation this year, but with a less positive outcome than in Minnesota.
More than a year ago, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin began saying he would call a special legislative session to address public pensions and tax reform. He quickly dropped tax reform, despite Kentucky’s notoriously porous tax code, and said the special session would focus only on public pensions. Despite continuing to promise a special session throughout the fall, he never called one. Eventually, it became too late for a special session and the 2018 regular legislative session began in Kentucky.