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Government & Politics

Southern Kentucky Lawmakers Try to Reassure State Workers, Retirees About Benefits

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Some Kentucky lawmakers are telling public employees they shouldn’t do anything rash when it comes to their retirement decisions.

Legislators from south central Kentucky addressed concerned citizens Wednesday at a town hall meeting in Bowling Green. The crowd included retirees and current government workers worried about how pension reform will affect their benefits.

Among them was 66-year-old George Scott, a retired captain from the Bowling Green Police Department. He came to the meeting concerned about a recommendation to roll back benefits of current retirees enhanced over the years by cost-of-living adjustments, or “COLAS.”

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers said they’re committed to protecting those already in the retirement system. Republican Representative Jim DeCesare of Warren County said lawmakers have a moral obligation to protect the benefits of retirees and active employees.

Consultants have recommended significant changes to bring Kentucky’s pension debt of at least $30 billion under control.

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