House panel advances Bevin-backed pension bill

House panel advances Bevin-backed pension bill
Governor Matt Bevin

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's pension-relief proposal has cleared its first hurdle, winning approval from a legislative committee during the second day of a special session.

The House State Government Committee approved the measure Saturday after defeating two Democratic-sponsored proposals. The plan backed by the Republican governor heads to the GOP-dominated House, which is expected to vote on it Monday.

All three bills aim to give relief to regional universities and quasi-governmental agencies, such as public health departments, hit by sharply higher retirement costs.

Rep. James Tipton is sponsoring the Bevin-backed bill. Tipton says if lawmakers don't take action, many quasi-public agencies will "go out of business."

Democratic Rep. Derrick Graham condemned the proposal as “immoral.” He says it will break a promise made to employees if their agencies leave the retirement system.