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Bevin: Teachers Keeping COLA, but It Is Smaller
By Bill Hughes
PADUCAH, KY - Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin said the cut in Cost Of Living Adjustments (COLA) on state pensions for teachers is "appropriate involvement" by participants as reforms are made to keep the system in place. 

Kentucky state senators on Wednesday took the first step toward passing a bill they say would save taxpayers $3.2 billion over the next 20 years and stabilize one of the country's worst-funded public pension systems. The bill now goes to the Senate floor for a vote. If it passes, the Kentucky House, which has already passed a similar bill, would have to agree to some Senate changes before the Governor could sign it into law.

Bevin told WKYX News that in spite of what some folks say, the COLA is not guaranteed in the contract. In fact, he says all other state workers lost that benefit in 1996.

Bevin said, "The Democrat-controlled House, Democrat-controlled Senate, and the Democratic Governor all agreed to take away 100 percent of COLAs forever from every other state employee from teachers. There's no other state employees who get COLAs, none of them, and they were all taken away by Democrats. The very same people that are whining and complaining - some of the people like Rocky Adkins and people like Jim Wayne and others that are some of the loudest voices - they voted to take COLAs away from everyone else."

The bill wouldn't take away the COLA for teachers. Instead, it would drop from 1.5 percent to 1 percent each year. Republican Sen. Joe Bowen, who sponsored the bill, said it would save the state about $3.2 billion over the next 20 years.

Bevin said teachers are being asked to give up a small portion of something that no other state workers and very few in the private sector would receive. He believes this will help preserve future benefits over the long term.

"The idea that we're hanging onto this as a sacred thing is silliness, and the idea that people in retirement would rather get every cent they can get now, with no guarantee that the checks will keep coming for them or those still working, is frankly, selfish," Bevin said.

During his conversation on the Greg Dunker Show on WKYX, Bevin also encouraged anyone who wants to push the plunger that initiates the implosion of the 330-foot-tall Capital Plaza Tower in Frankfort to bid on the job on EBay. On Friday afternoon, the highest bid was $7,700.

The winner's charitable gift will help the #WeAreKY! Foundation, which benefits foster children. The auction ends at 5 pm EST Saturday, and the implosion is scheduled for Sunday afternoon. 

Published 04:42 PM, Thursday Mar. 08, 2018
Updated 02:30 PM, Saturday Mar. 10, 2018

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