Bill Addresses Pension Spiking Due to Emergency

Representative Jerry Miller (R-Louisville) told members of the Public Pension Oversight Board (PPOB) on Monday afternoon about a measure he prefiled for the 2022 session that addressed pension spiking concerns during a locally-declared emergency.  Miller said the legislation followed “massive amounts of overtime” required of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) during last year’s civil unrest.

“This changes the law to say if the local CEO of a government declares a state of emergency and the governor declares or calls in the national guard, then the spiking provision would not hurt these people who have no choice whether they are going to work this overtime,” Miller told his legislative colleagues.

Legislators passed a measure in 2013 that led to KRS 61.598. The pension spiking statute includes allowances for an official state of emergency that may require large amounts of overtime. That clause was added in a later session as a KLC initiative. However, the provision only pertains if the president or governor declares the state of emergency.

Miller explained that Louisville Metro Government faced an issue when Mayor Greg Fischer declared an emergency that required LMPD officers to work extraordinary amounts of overtime. Governor Andy Beshear did not declare an emergency, but he did send national guard soldiers to Louisville to help law enforcement. Miller stated that such a move proved an emergency took place.

Miller said his 2022 bill would lift pension spiking provisions if a governor declared an emergency or activated the national guard. He stated that Louisville officers who retired after May 2020 were punished for doing their duty when their community needed them. Miller’s bill would be retroactive to May 30, 2020.