Governor Bevin responds to pension reform backlash

It's the job no governor wants, but the job will get done. That's how Governor Bevin described pension reform at a breakfast for local business leaders on Oct. 24.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - It's the job no governor wants, but the job will get done. That's how Governor Bevin described pension reform at a breakfast for local business leaders Tuesday morning.

Greater Louisville Inc. hosted the event and opened it by saying it fully endorses the proposed changes for pension reform. Many in the room took time to ask the governor questions related to that topic and several other hot-button issues.

Kentucky's leader talked for about a half hour and spent about the same amount of time answering those questions. He said pension reform isn't an easy or quick fix and reminded the crowd it will take a good 30 years or so to finish.

“Nobody wants to be the governor who delivers this message. I want to be the puppies and rainbows and ribbon-cutting guy. That would be awesome.  Who wouldn’t want to be?” Governor Bevin said. “I’m going to clean up a lot of this stuff. I’m like guy at the parade with the shovel behind the elephant.”

When talking about the division among parties, Bevin argued this measure should be supported by both Republicans and Democrats.

“There is nothing about this plan that is not the responsible thing to do. This really doesn’t know any political boundary. Truth be told, there’s far more democrats than republicans affected by us doing this just by the fact that there’s far more democrats than republicans in Kentucky. One should be agnostic when making financial decisions. It shouldn’t make a lick’s worth what party you’re in. It just shouldn’t,” Bevin said.

Bevin said there are three distinct parts to getting this pension reform passed- legal, political, and financial.

Since Bevin laid out his proposal last week, it's been met with pushback from several groups, including teachers' unions. The governor said he's not surprised, but adds not doing anything about the problem is no longer an option.

"They're entitled to their opinion, but the reality is we do have to come up with a solution. Simply pointing out that there's a problem and wishing it would go away is not going to cut it. We've come up with a very good, thoughtful 30-year fix to a problem that keeps promises and actually resolves the problem,” Bevin said.


As far as a timeline goes for finalizing pension reform, Bevin is staying tightlipped. He said it's already being read by people in the legislature though. He wouldn't give an exact date, but said it's imminent.

There is a lot to this proposal and it can get confusing fast. WHAS11’s political editor, Chris Williams, has a breakdown of it all. Click here for that. 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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