Kansas governor concedes pension proposal unlikely to pass

TOPEKA — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly is acknowledging that her proposal to reduce Kansas’ annual contributions to its public pension system probably won’t pass the Republican-controlled Legislature this year.

But Kelly said Friday that the state “absolutely” must revise its schedule of payments to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.

She added, “I think the Legislature knows that.”

Republicans have said her plan is unwise. The House rejected it last month.

By law, the state must ramp up contributions to close a long-term KPERS funding gap by 2035. Kelly proposed giving the state an extra 15 years to create budget breathing room.

Kelly’s comments Friday came after she signed a bill for an immediate, $115 million payment to KPERS. It repays with interest a contribution skipped in 2016 because of budget problems.


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