Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cover-up is always worse (pension version)

The Senate budget committee today unanimously passed HB 300, the pension scandal cover-up bill. The bill now heads to the Senate floor.

Insufficient work by former state Auditor Crit Luallen paved the way for official Frankfort to continue hiding a kickback scheme run through investment middlemen call "placement agents," which has already cost state taxpayers potentially hundreds of millions of dollars.

HB 300 would further embed placement agents in the Kentucky Retirement Systems by making them register as lobbyists with the executive branch of state government, which requirement does not involve reporting their actual dollar amounts of compensation.

This would be a big step away from what needs to happen, which is a lawsuit to recover all the placement agent fees paid out by the state. Few people in official Frankfort want such scrutiny because then the placement agents will talk about how some of that money was funneled to politicians.

This issue will become much more of a front-burner concern in three to five years when the pension plans run out of money and the taxpayers are on the hook for massive new payments we can't afford.

Your representatives need to hear from you to realize that covering this garbage up will be a much greater crime than starting now the process of coming clean. It will be much more expensive, too.

Voting no on this one is hugely important. Passage of HB 300 will come back to haunt us all.