Legislators Pre-filed Bills May Affect You
A couple of new bills have been prefiled for the 2012 Regular Session of the Kentucky Legislature. One will help students further their education with a tax credit for individuals and businesses that provide scholarship funding for needy children. The second will overturn a bill that allows legislators to combine their retirement plan with other state funded plans.
Rep. Brad Montell, R-Shelbyville (58th District) announced he is prefiling legislation for the 2012 Regular Legislative Session that if passed would authorize a tax credit for individuals and corporate donors to non-profit agencies that provide scholarships to needy children to attend the public or private school of their choice.
“The goal of this legislation is to provide every parent with the opportunity to send their child to the school that best meets the child’s needs regardless of their family’s income,” said Rep. Montell in filing the bill.
The legislation, which will be known as the Great Schools Tax Credit Program, would provide a tax credit of up to $2,000 for a contribution from individuals or business entities to non-profit organizations that provide educational scholarships
to eligible children, which could then be used for tuition allowing them to attend any elementary or secondary school, both public or private, of their choice.
This proposal directs that at least 90 percent of the donated amounts go directly to scholarships, and only go to needy children who live in a free or reduced lunch household, and are currently enrolled in a school classified as a “school
for opportunity” by the No Child Left Behind program.
“The need for scholarship assistance is obviously greatest among low-income families,” Rep. Montell added. “This law will ensure that scholarship assistance is given to those families least able financially to send their child to the school
of their choice. Hopefully this bill will give more students in Kentucky a better opportunity to receive the best education possible. A number of other states have introduced programs like this with great success.”
The bill is prefiled as BR 116 for the 2012 Regular Session.
Rep. Ron Crimm, R-Louisville (33rd District) announced today he has prefiled a bill for the 2012 session of the General Assembly that if passed would seek to overturn a 2005 law allowing legislators to combine their retirement plan with other
state funded plans.
“Recent stories in the press about former and current legislators receiving six-figure pensions while our state retirement system is billons in debt is not only troubling to me but to the taxpayers of our great Commonwealth,” said Rep.
Crimm in filing the bill. “By trying to right a previous wrong I’m hoping that we as lawmakers can gain some degree of confidence back from those who elect us to serve them.”
Rep. Crimm’s proposal would not allow legislators to consolidate their retirement accounts with any in the Kentucky State Police Retirement System, the Kentucky Employees Retirement System, the County Employees Retirement System, and the
Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System if any legislator is receiving benefits.
His bill would make this rule retroactive to members contributing to a retirement plan on or after June 20, 2005 and have service credit in any of the other state pension systems prior to August 1, 2012 unable to combine previous income
under their retirement accounts. The 2005 date is when a previous
bill, HB 299 which passed in the 2005 session and became law without the
signature of former Governor Ernie Fletcher, allowed current and former
members of the General Assembly to combine incomes
which equates to higher annual pensions.
“I like many of my fellow legislators voted yes on HB 299 in the 2005 session. However I now realize our action in passing this bill has led to unintended consequences and increased the strain on our state retirement system. I’m hoping
this bill will right that wrong,” added Rep. Crimm.
The bill is prefiled as BR 323 for the 2012 Regular Session.