Five Hardin County area lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, came together Monday (10/9) at John Hardin High School to talk about the state’s pension reform.
Hundreds packed the town hall, and teachers showed up in full force. Democratic State Senator Dennis Parrett of Elizabethtown organized the town hall meeting and said the goal was listen to concerns and reassure state workers. Parrett said “It’s not fair to take those benefits away from our current retirees, they earned them, and they were promised them.”
The final version of the reform bill is not finished, but there does seem to be one thing on which Republicans and Democrats lawmakers do agree that benefits for current retirees not be cut.
Republican Representative Jim DuPlessis of Elizabethtown said, “Whatever we end up doing, in the long run, it needs to be something that will attract the best and the brightest future employees.” Some teachers spoke up after talks that new legislation could affect their sick leave policies.
The state budget director John Chilton promised retiree checks will not be reduced and what people are getting now will continue. Chilton said “There’s going to be some components of it that you won’t like.” He said highlights of the new pension plan could be announced as early as this week.