Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Senate OKs legislative pension transparency bill

Bills that would disclose the value of state legislators’ public pensions passed the Senate Tuesday by a 38-0 vote.

State Sen. Christian McDaniel, R-Taylor Mill, who sponsored the bill, said the legislation was designed to strengthen the public’s faith in the democratic process. Known as Senate Bill 45, it would allow pension managers to disclose the name and benefit amount for any current or former lawmaker by making those figures subject to the state’s open records laws.

“This requirement will introduce a greater level of accountability to those of us who have to cast ballots on some of the most difficult, contentious and painful issues confronting us today,” McDaniel said.

He said one of the greatest challenges of the session will be to find more money for the public pension systems. The systems carries more than $30 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. State economists say the main pension plans for government workers and public school teacher are in the most trouble.

SB 45 now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.