2014 Legislative Agenda for Cities
Updated December 5, 2013
CERS Employer Contribution Rate Change
On Thursday, December 5, the Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS) Board of Trustees announced the new employer contribution rates for cities, counties and other members of the County Employees Retirement System (CERS) for next fiscal year.
The new employer contribution rates for CERS that go into effect July 1, 2014, will be:
Required CERS Employer Contribution Rates:
Current FY '15 Rates
Non-Hazardous 18.89% 17.67%
Hazardous 35.70% 34.31%
The rates are lower because of the historic pension reform that passed in the 2013 legislative session. The reform reset the amortization period of the pension obligations under CERS, which provided short-term rate relief to cities and other employers in the retirement system.
Cities worked tirelessly for more than six years to achieve the 2013 reform that is projected to save taxpayer's approximately $10 billion over the next 20 years. This legislation averted a looming fiscal crisis as the state's pension system faced $33 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. The final version of the legislation contained many of the systemic changes recommended by the bipartisan Public Pension Task Force and endorsed by KLC.
Updated November 21, 2013
KLC Testifies to Interim Committee on the Need for City Classification Reform
On November 20, Kentucky League of Cities Chief Governmental Affairs Officer J.D. Chaney and Executive Director/CEO Jon Steiner testified before the Interim Joint Committee on Local Government on the need for classification reform.
“Cities are divided into one of six classes based on population size tiers and 30 percent of cities are not classified within their population tier based on census data,” Steiner explained to lawmakers.
“Nearly 400 laws related to taxing authority, alcohol beverage control, collective bargaining and other city powers reference the outdated classification system,” said Chaney. “These laws often arbitrarily restrict and mandate cities, limiting flexibility and effective governance.”
In 2009, KLC formed a city classification task force that included city officials from all classes of cities and regions of the state. The task force recommended that any reform efforts do no harm to any existing city by imposing new mandates or removing flexibility currently held. In addition, the task force recommended that the laws be changed to reduce the number of city classes and eliminate arbitrary distinctions between cities based on classes – especially those with population criteria that no longer make sense with home rule.
KLC used these recommendations to work closely with Representative Steve Riggs (D-Jeffersontown) and Legislative Research Commission staff to craft the reform bill, which is expected to be filed in January. The legislation will create three classes of cities based on the form of city government.
Class Form of Government
Second City Manager
Third Mayor-Council and Commission
“This is legislation that is long overdue since the voters of Kentucky approved a constitutional amendment in 1994 permitting a new classification system,” said Chaney. Cities will have an opportunity to review and comment on the legislation before the bill moves forward in the process.
Every Friday during the session, KLC's legislative team sends out the Legislative Bulletin, which will include updates on this bill, recap the activities from the previous week as well as provide a glimpse at what's coming up. Contact Tresa Short at 859-977-3777 to sign up.