Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Thanks to a new law recently signed by Gov. Bevin, Kentuckians can finally find out how much their state legislators will receive in public pensions. It was kept secret by House members who refused to divulge their pensions to the public. That might be one reason Democrats lost control of the Kentucky House in November. Legislature first approved pensions for themselves in 1980. Then in 2005, they boosted their benefits if they landed a high-paying state job after leaving the legislature. With only a few years service, a retired state lawmaker could use their length of service in the legislature combined with a higher paying state job and in some cases retire with a six-figure annual pension. One former state rep. will receive a pension totalling $165,156— quite a hard sell when Kentucky's entire pension system is in jeopardy.