Kansas Lawmakers Approve Compromise Pension Measure

By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: AP (Posted by Melissa Brunner)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The Kansas Legislature has given final approval to a bill aimed at bolstering the long-term financial health of the state's pension system by using gambling dollars to pay for retirement benefits.

The House approved the measure Thursday on a 74-42 vote, hours after the Senate passed it, 35-2. The legislation is a compromise drafted by House and Senate negotiators to resolve dozens of differences between their chambers.

The bill will go to Gov. Sam Brownback, who told The Associated Press that he'll sign it.

“For decades, state government shifted the burden of providing for state employees’ retirement to future Legislatures. As a result, Kansas has one of the most underfunded pension plans in the country," Brownback said in a statement. "The KPERS reform legislation on its way to my desk will ensure state employees have a retirement system that is stable. State employees work hard to deliver services important to Kansans and they deserve a fair and funded pension system.”

The legislation would direct future revenues from state-owned casinos to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. It also creates a new retirement plan for teachers and government workers hired after 2014.

The measure passed over the objections of public employee groups.

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