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Bevin Talks Pension Plan And Brent Spence Bridge In Northern Kentucky

Tana Weingartner, WVXU

Kentucky's governor is taking on critics of his plan to overhaul the state pension system.

"We do need to preserve the promise that has been made to people," says Gov. Matt Bevin at a Northern Kentucky Chamber luncheon Wednesday. "But we don't need to give more than has been promised, which is what we have been doing. Structurally things must change for people not yet in the system."

Bevin says people will no longer be able to 'game the system' by retiring at a certain time in order to get more money than they should. He also disagrees that asking people to contribute three percent of their salaries for healthcare amounts to a wage cut, as some argue.

Bevin says his proposal finally fixes Kentucky's worst-funded-in-the-country system.

The Kentucky Education Association earlier this week declared the plan will devastate schools.

Bevin disagrees, offering this message to teachers: "Keep doing what you do well. Teach our children. They need you. You want to do this job, it's why you signed up for the job, so keep doing it and don't be worried about your pension. Everything that you thought you were going to get coming in, you will still have."

While he says he has the votes to pass the plan, he hasn't set a date for lawmakers to take up the legislation.

Brent Spence Bridge

Bevin expects a Brent Spence Bridge replacement project will begin before his term as Kentucky's governor is up. He says the solution likely isn't just replacing the bridge.

"We need to fix the Brent Spence Corridor and build a new bridge, and we also need to build a bypass because we need to be looking not just two and five years into the future but 20 and 50 years into the future."

The bypass idea is being studied. Bevin theorizes it would be south of I-275.

On the federal level, Bevin says it's helpful Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie sits on the House transportation committee and U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is from the commonwealth.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.
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