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Lawmakers Will Talk Pension Changes in Bowling Green Town Hall

Public employees in the Bowling Green region worried about their retirement benefits have a chance to hear from state lawmakers in a town hall. 

Legislators from south central Kentucky will speak in Bowling Green Wednesday evening at a public meeting hosted by the Fraternal Order of Police. 

Governor Matt Bevin has promised to call a special legislative session this fall to rein in the state's pension debt.  Consultants have recommended pay cuts for some retired workers while freezing the benefits of most other public employees.  Sergeant Shawn Helbig with the Bowling Green Police Department is president of the local FOP.  He says there was a 37 percent increase in state employee retirements last month compared to August 2016.

So far, everything that's been released is simply a recommendation," noted Helbig.  "The whole point of this town hall is to get legislators to speak for themselves and maybe they can dispell some of these rumors and concerns."

Estimates vary, but the state is at least $30 billion short of what’s needed to pay promised retirement benefits to state workers, police officers, firefighters and public school teachers in the next few decades. 

The town hall is open to anyone in the state retirement system.  The meeting takes place Wednesday at South Warren High School in Bowling Green starting at 6:00 p.m.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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