Last Friday marked the end of what has turned out to be a surprisingly productive session. This year was a refreshing change from recent sessions past in which the chambers found their legislative work slowed by conflict and infighting and PQs. Both chambers worked diligently to ensure this year was a different story.
The final weeks of session proved quite interesting on the pension front. Several omnibus pension bills emerged out of committee, House Bill 1329, House Bill 2044, and Senate Bill 628. Each of these vehicles contained LAGERS enabling language for Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Metro Planning Organizations. The bills also contained additional provisions relating to a funding fix for the Kansas City Teachers Retirement system, modification of the return to work policy for certain members of the Public School Retirement System, and several plan modifications to the Prosecuting Attorney’s system.
All of these provisions were vetted in committee and overwhelming passed. Although most felt confident that one of these bills would reach the finish line, all met death on the floor as an additional amendment killed the debate in the Senate. Fortunately, another vehicle which had already passed the Senate emerged in the House. And so Senate Bill 892, handled by Senator Walsh and Representative Walker, was amend on the floor to mirror the other pension bills, including the LAGERS-enabling language. This bill, following a Conference, was Truly Agreed and Finally Passed.
Out of 45 pension bills introduced, Senate Bill 892 was one of six to pass. LAGERS is grateful to the bill handlers and the Pension Committees for their diligent work on all the important pension language this session.
In closing, the 2018 session was a great one for the LAGERS system and all of our members. We continued to build some great partnerships with our policy makers, saw enabling language passed into law that will allow even more local public servants to pursue a secure retirement, and hosted a very successful first LAGERS Advocacy Day at the Capitol where our members got some awesome face-time with their legislators! We continue to work hard every day for our members and appreciate your continued involvement in your retirement system!!