Paducah area teachers groups are hosting a town hall with local lawmakers on Tuesday to discuss the proposed pension reform.
Paducah Education Association and McCracken County Education Association are hosting the event beginning at 6 at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College Clemens Fine Arts Center.
A representative from the Kentucky Education Association and members of local groups representing state workers are invited to speak.
Chad Davidson is President of the McCracken County Education Association. He said representatives from the Paducah Fire Department, McCracken County Sheriff’s Office, Paducah Police Department, county road workers, court house workers, teachers, school bus driver and cafeteria workers have been invited to share their thoughts on the bill and ask questions.
State Senator Danny Carroll and state Representatives Gerald Watkins and Will Coursey are confirmed speakers. Representative Steven Rudy is unable to attend due to schedule conflicts. Representative Richard Heath is holding a separate town hall Thursday at 6 at Mayfield City Hall.
On tackling tax reform first (as teacher groups, lawmakers and a local chamber of commerce have recommended) Davidson said he said changing regulations will allow new businesses to come into the state. "I would like to see a more concise and a more direct effort to be able to attract more industry to this area and the whole state of Kentucky, which in turn would create more revenue without raising taxes,” he said.
"If the proposal goes through as printed - which I don't think it will - but if it does, school boards all across the state of Kentucky are going to have to raise property taxes to be able to cover the additional costs that will be mandated through the current proposed plan by the governor,” Davidson said. That’s because of an additional mandatory 2% employer contribution.
He added that he didn’t want to see a tax on ‘necessities’ like groceries and medicine (which are considered tax breaks in Kentucky), but wants lawmakers to identify things that are more of a ‘choice.’