Note to Members

Hello everyone,

This is just a quick update to keep everyone in the loop regarding the pension bill
(Senate Bill 1, or SB1 for short).

The “hot button” issue for the bill appears to be the change in the cost of living
(COLA) provision. As you probably know, the bill was modified to change the
proposed cost of living (COLA) provision from 0.75% for 12 years to a new level
of 1.00% for 12 years. This was probably done in an attempt to gain votes in the
Senate and to appease teachers.

The bill, which creates a new hybrid cash-balance plan for new teachers and sets
the COLA at 1.00%, was passed out of committee by a 7-4 vote. The senator for
our district, Sen. Stan Humphries, was Vice-Chair of the committee and he voted
“No” for passage of the bill. (A “No” vote is essentially a vote that supports the
teachers’ position on the bill.)

In a stunning move on Friday, the Senate leadership canceled the planned vote on
the bill by the full Senate and, instead, returned it to the committee for possible
changes. Previously, Senate President Robert Stivers had said that he had the votes
to pass the bill in the Senate. Apparently though, this turned out to be not true.
What does this mean for the status of the bill? That’s hard to say. One Republican
senator said that he thinks the bill is dead for the session. Others believe it can be
tweaked enough to gain the necessary votes. Changing the COLA back to 1.50%
would probably gain enough votes to allow passage in the Senate, but this strips
the bill of its number one source of “savings” for the state and undermines the
rationale for the entire bill. Even if it passes the Senate, the bill will pass to the
House where it has even less support.

Time is running out for this legislative session. We will probably have an answer
early next week regarding the bill’s fate. The teachers’ position on this has been
very consistent: seek new revenues first by closing the billions of dollars of tax
loopholes before passing a pension bill that drastically cuts benefits to teachers. (It is estimated that the 1% COLA would cost a new retiree $65,000 in lifetime
benefits.)

Our thanks go out to both Senator Humphries and to Representative Kenny Imes.
It took courage for Sen. Humphries to defy the Republican leadership and to vote
No on the bill. Representative Imes has indicated that he has problems with the
bill as well and has stayed in contact with our CCRTA officers throughout the
process.

Please do not send form letters to our legislators. Representative Imes said that he
has been flooded with letters of this type. One short personal message
(handwritten or email) is much more effective than a dozen form letters.
Next week should be exciting. The turnout by retired teachers at the Capitol has
been nothing short of amazing. There’s no doubt that the united front by teachers
has influenced legislators.

Here is a note that Sandy Anderson, who has been in Frankfort all week, asked me
to pass along to our members:
“If we have any retired members who are also KEA members, they can come up
next week and get their room paid for and mileage. (see below) I have been here
all week, so I'm not coming back.   They met at 9:00, called a recess for caucuses
to meet, came back, recessed for committees to meet, came back, and recessed for
lunch 11:30-1:00, so we’re still waiting for the real meeting to start.  Taxpayers’
money at work!!!  An hour and a half lunch and they can't even be back on time.
All the teachers ate and made it back with plenty of time to spare!! Someone said
Papa Johns dropped off free pizza for us.  I had already eaten, but that was nice.”

PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES NEED YOUR HELP!

A block of rooms have been reserved at the Capital Plaza Hotel under KEA for
retired members to use to come to Frankfort checking in on Monday the 12th and
out on Wednesday the 14th. Your hotel, mileage and rooms will be reimbursable
through KEA Retired.

If you wish to participate, please call the Capital Plaza Hotel at 502-227- 5100 and
ask for the room block under KEA's name. As an aside, the scheduled implosion
of the Capital Plaza Tower will take place on Sunday the 11th. They anticipate no
problems for a Monday check-in.
WHEN:
Tuesday, March 13
Wednesday, March 14
Thursday, March 15

WHERE: Kentucky State Capitol and Annex

TIME: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM daily
Things have begun to move in Frankfort regarding Public Pension Reform and the
State Budget. They need us to represent them in Frankfort while they transport,
feed, educate, and lookout for the welfare of students.
*Make signs
*Set up meetings with your legislators
*Attending Committee Meetings
*Hold signs in the tunnel
*BRING FRIENDS!
Daily Schedule:
8:00 AM-2:00 PM - Standing Committees meet (See note below)
9:00 AM-11:30 AM - KEA-Retired will be set up in the Capitol Annex cafeteria so
that you can sign in and get further information.
1:30 - 2:00 PM - Holding signs in the tunnel from the Annex to the Capitol
- and / or-
1:30 - ? - Holding signs and greeting legislators as they make their way to
chambers in the Capitol.
2:00 - 3:30 PM - Fill out Debrief Reports and Vouchers (mileage and lunch) at
KEA Headquarters (401 Capitol Avenue - the building on stilts)
NOTE: Committee Meetings of Particular Interest and Importance
Tuesday:

8 AM - House Education, room 154
9 AM - Senate A & R, room 149
10 AM - House A & R, room 154
On Adjournment - Senate A & R, 149
Wednesday:
Noon - House Local Gov., room 131
Noon - Senate State & Local Gov., room 154
On Adjournment - Senate A & R, 149
Thursday:
11:30 AM - Senate Education, room 149
Noon - House State Gov., room 154
On Adjournment - Senate A & R, 149


Thanks!
Tom Denton, President
KEA-Retired