By Jacqueline Pitts
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
As they returned to Frankfort for the final two days of the 2021 session Monday, lawmakers began their work with override votes of the many vetoes passed down from Gov. Andy Beshear last week.
Among those vetoes were bills important to the business community, which the General Assembly voted to override.
Teachers’ Retirement System changes
House Bill 258, sponsored by Rep. Ed Massey, would create a new tier in the Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (KTRS) for any newly hired teachers in the state that would be partially defined benefit plan like the existing pension plan and part defined contribution plan, more like a 401(k).
The bill serves as a retirement plan as well as social security replacement plan, as teachers in Kentucky do not pay into social security and do not receive the benefit in retirement. The new system would provide a supplemental plan with two percent paid in by both the employee and the state, which is portable to allow an employee to take those benefits with them should they leave the teaching profession, unlike the existing KTRS pension plan.
A stabilization account is also included that can be utilized in the event funding for the plan falls below 90 percent, so the state doesn’t find itself in another deficit situation like the one that currently exists, wherein the state is the only party on the line to pay it back.
House Bill 258 makes no changes to any benefits provided to current or retired teachers.
Legacy debt continues to be a huge issue facing the state with the current plan and paying benefits for anyone currently in the system, but the legislation does avoid adding more personnel to the same system and piling on additional costs to that current plan.
The House override vote was 63-30 and the Senate override vote was 25-13.
House Bill 475, sponsored by Rep. Walker Thomas, would bring Kentucky in line with most other states to ensure that our OSHA-related regulations are no more stringent than those set by the Federal government.
Currently, most states rely on federal OSHA programs and therefore follow federal regulations.
The House override vote was 63-31 and the Senate override vote was 23-15.
Senate Bill 148, sponsored by Senator Danny Carroll, restricts regulations that can be imposed on certified family childcare homes in an effort to encourage more in-home care, which could expand access to childcare for Kentucky’s working families.
The legislation, supported by the Kentucky Chamber, prescribes what regulations the Cabinet for Health and Family Services may promulgate regarding child care centers during a state of emergency and makes other changes related to helping our workforce by restoring childcare in the state.
The Senate override vote was 33-4 and the House override vote was 74-18.
The House and Senate also voted to override multiple vetoes of the state budget and gave it final passage.
Many other vetoes were addressed Monday and have been overridden as the General Assembly moves into the final day of the 2021 session on Tuesday where they will deal with any other bills they plan to pass.
The Bottom Line is the official news site of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce