The Democratic Leadership of the Louisville Metro Council is calling on the people of Metro Louisville to contact lawmakers in Frankfort and let them know the importance of passing Senate Bill 66.
The proposed legislation deals with pension funding obligations by local city and county governments. Failure to pass the bill could have devastating effects for Metro Louisville.
The Leadership has released the following statement:
“There are less than two weeks left in the current legislative session in Frankfort. As this session draws to a close, there is word that SB66 may not be called for a vote.
There is great debate on how to fund the state’s obligations to the pension system for the coming years. Every year Kentucky’s cities and counties meet their financial pension obligations to their employees. Now these local governments are faced with a major financial crisis if SB 66 is not passed.
Louisville Metro Government is looking at a $38 million dollar increase in pension funding on top of the $76 million it already annually pays. If Louisville is forced to pay this increase, there could be devastating cuts in services covering all areas of government including public safety and laying off employees.
SB 66 would allow local governments to phase in increases up to 12% per year over a period of ten years. It is a realistic approach. It would allow Metro Louisville to work within its means to provide government services while keeping its commitment to our employees.
The time has come for the people of Louisville to let Frankfort know they support giving city and county governments the leeway needed to continue pension obligations by passing SB 66.
This is not an issue that should be dealt with in a special session. Right now, the Mayor and the Metro Council are putting together the Fiscal Year 2018 to 2019 Operating and Capital Budgets. A special session on SB66 is simply kicking the can down the road, while Metro Louisville and other cities are put in limbo.
Lawmakers should realize that if SB 66 is not passed, the proposed pension costs along with cuts in the budget proposed by Governor Bevin will have a major negative impact on the people of Metro Louisville. It will increase a possible budget deficit from $38 to $50 million.
Louisville is the chief economic engine that drives the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Now is not the time to stop our progress. The people of Louisville are asking the General Assembly to do what is right.”