State Senate Candidates Differ on Pension Reform
The two candidates running to represent Covington and other parts of Kenton County in the Kentucky State Senate spoke out this week on legislative and public pension reform. Republican Chris McDaniel, a Taylor Mill businessman, joined fellow Republican candidates in Frankfort for a press conference announcing their plans and later discussed the issue with cn|2 Pure Politics
“The first round of changes needs to start with us. We are the leaders, we need to step up and acknowledge as much. And that’s why this change presented today related to future legislators and that’s where I want to see it start,” he said.
McDaniel, a Taylor Mill businessman, faces Democrat James Noll in the 23rd state Senate district in northern Kenton County. The winner will replace Republican Sen. Jack Westwood, who is retiring at the end of the year.
While McDaniel is calling for changing retirement benefits for future workers, he said he didn’t want to see tax increases or selling of bonds to cover part of the nearly $33 billion in unfunded liabilities across the six public retirement systems. Instead, he said there are areas of efficiencies that could free up as much as nine figures of state money, although he declined to go into details about what those are yet.:
For the full story as well as a video interview segment, click here.
McDaniel's Democratic opponent is Villa Hills city councilman James Noll who issued a press release announcing his opposition to McDaniel's plan:
Chris McDaniel, the Republican nominee for State Senate District 23 in Kenton County, proposed replacing the current taxpayer-funded legislative pension plan for part-time legislators with a taxpayer-funded 401K style retirement plan for future legislators.
“This is a defining contrast between our two candidacies. My opponent, Chris McDaniel supports taxpayer-funded pensions for part-time legislators, while I oppose using citizens’ tax dollars to fund pensions for part-time legislators. As citizen legislators, I believe it is our responsibility to serve the taxpayer, not profit at their expense.”
“My opponent’s plan to use taxpayers’ money to fund pensions for part-time legislators is nothing more than a cynical attempt, cloaked in the guise of reform, to replace the current gold-plated pension plan for current legislators with a taxpayer-funded, silver-plated version for new legislators. In these tough budgetary times and difficult economy, taxpayers simply cannot afford either the current gold-plated plan or Chris McDaniel’s silver-plated version,” Noll continued.”
“My opponent’s plan should be a wake-up call to all fiscally responsible minded voters - the first substantive proposal my opponent offers is one from which he will personally profit. That’s not real reform and that’s not the kind of change we need in Frankfort. We need to end taxpayer-funded pensions for part-time legislators - period. ”