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The Latest: Kentucky lawmakers agree to pension plan

March 29, 2019

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on action by Kentucky lawmakers on the final day of this year’s legislative session (all times local):

11:23 p.m.

Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill that would let up to 118 quasi-governmental agencies leave the state’s struggling retirement system.

Legislative leaders say the plan will save many of those agencies from bankruptcies, since they can’t afford to pay ballooning pension payments. The agencies include local health departments, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and some public universities.

But the plan would also let the agencies leave without paying what they owe, which could cost the pension system up to $799 million over the next few decades. The system is already one of the worst-funded retirement plans in the country.

Republican Sen. Chris McDaniel called the plan the best of bad options.

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5:40 p.m.

Kentucky lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would ban the use of all tobacco products and e-cigarettes on school grounds.

The Republican-dominated Senate voted 28-10 on Thursday to send House Bill 11 to Gov. Matt Bevin. The measure cleared the House earlier this month.

The bill’s supporters in the Senate, led by Republican Sen. Ralph Alvarado, who is a doctor, said it would help curtail youth smoking.

Republican Sen. John Schickel called it the “very definition of government overreach” in opposing the measure.

A majority of Kentucky’s school districts do not ban tobacco products on campus.

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12:35 p.m.

Kentucky lawmakers have begun the final day of the 2019 legislative session by proposing some last-minute tax breaks for big companies and making changes to the state’s open records law.

The state legislature can only meet 30 legislative days during odd-numbered years. Thursday is the 30th day. The state House and Senate convened shortly after noon on Thursday.

State senators began the day by amending House Bill 458 to allow companies with locations in multiple states to spread their losses evenly among subsidiaries. Republican Sen. Chris McDaniel said it would cost the state money but said he did not know how much.

Senators also proposed protecting employees at the state Department of Revenue from criminal charges if they release taxpayer information pursuant to a court order.

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