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Debra Gayle Loy Harvey: Comments on pension change plans


I've been speaking to others about this pension crisis. I met one gentleman last week in Columbia, and he had already retired from state government. He seemed to believe that everything was fine. He was not concerned about the 3% cuts that the Legislators were proposing on the current worker's salaries. He showed me Senator Max Wise's article in the paper, which stated everything was okay. I thought to myself, why isn't someone speaking up, when a small voice said, "why aren't you?" - DEBRA GAYLE LOY HARVEY


By Debra Gayle Loy Harvey
Opinions are personal viewpoint of the writer

I have never claimed to be "sophisticated". In fact, I was raised in a "holler" in southern Adair County. So, I guess you can say I'm about as far from "sophisticated" as you can get. However, I do believe that I am smart enough to speak up for myself, and a few others.


I've been speaking to others about this pension crisis. I met one gentleman last week in Columbia, and he had already retired from state government. He seemed to believe that everything was fine. He was not concerned about the 3% cuts that the Legislators were proposing on the current worker's salaries. He showed me Senator Max Wise's article in the paper, which stated everything was okay. I thought to myself, why isn't someone speaking up, when a small voice said, "why aren't you?"
As I said, I've been speaking to a few concerned people and I want to share their stories with you. I spoke with a secretary this week. She wept. She said, "Gayle, I don't want to take this personally, but I can't help it. It is personal to me. I make $25, 000.00 per year. I have 2 kids. I have a college degree. I am just barely making it. I don't know how I will make it, if they cut my salary, 3% more. To the Legislators, and the Governor, a 3% cut, may be a cup of coffee at Starbucks, but to people like this secretary, it may mean feeding her kids.

I've spoken to people who are married, and both work for the state of KY. Can you imagine a 6% total reduction in your household income? What if both of them are teachers? It will be even more, because, teachers are paying in more. I admit, I will have to let a teacher write their concerns, because I am not as "sophisticated"on their issues. That is not to say I don't care, because I do. I just don't want to say anything wrong.

I did research and discovered that in 2009 KY transferred $50 million from the KY State Employees Health Plan Trust Fund, to balance the state budget. In 2015 they transferred $117 million, The article stated that Governor Bevin's budget plan includes transferring $500 million out of the plan in 2018 into a new "permanent fund". This was taken from a January28, 2016 article, from KCEP. The Courier Journal reported March 29, 2015 that the state of KY raided the balance in the public employee health insurance fund for 63.5 million. This money was used to fund the government's "rainy day fund", to pay for a few special appropriations. Some of those appropriations, were for the heroin bill, and county and city road programs.

I tell you that, to tell you this. State workers have worked for the last decade with little or no raises. I am encouraging you to contact your legislator and ask that they vote NO on this pension bill. The number is 855-886-1747.

Although I was "raised in a holler", I was taught to work and pay my own way. It's time for Kentuckians to pay for the roads that they have been driving on, for the last few years. It's time for them to pay back the money that was used from the KY employees, and not ask the state employees to pay back the money taken from them. I always pay my debts, and I expect this good state that I was raised in, to do the same.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Debra Gayle Loy Harvey


This story was posted on 2017-11-04 19:48:52
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