Kansas governor tries to sell retirees on pension plan

Proposal face GOP opposition
Kansas governor tries to sell retirees on pension plan
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Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly Monday tried to sell retired teachers and government workers on her plan to reduce the state’s annual payments to its public pension system.

The proposal faces widespread opposition among Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Kelly told about 80 retirees gathered for an annual Statehouse rally that her proposal would give the state manageable annual payments to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System and make it more stable. She insisted she isn’t trying to free up money for new spending and said retirees have heard “a lot of misinformation.”

Kelly made her pitch during a retirees’ rally at the Statehouse amid widespread opposition to her pension plan among Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

The governor contends her plan would make the state’s annual pension payments more manageable as it closes a long-term funding gap. Her plan would give the state lower payments for 17 years and save $145 million during the budget year that begins in July.

But Kansas would wait 15 years longer to close its pension funding gap and that has Republicans opposing the plan.

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