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Kansas House Approves Bill To Authorize $1B In Pension Bonds

Stephen Koranda

The Kansas House has narrowly approved a bill Wednesday authorizing $1 billion in bonds to bolster the short-term financial health of the pension system for teachers and government workers. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more…

The vote was 63-57 on a compromise drafted by House and Senate negotiators. The Senate expects to vote Thursday on the proposal. Approval then would send the measure to Governor Sam Brownback, who has proposed $1.5 billion in pension bonds.

Issuing bonds would give the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) an infusion of cash, immediately narrowing a long-term gap in the funding for retirement benefits. Supporters believe KPERS will earn significantly more from investing the funds raised than it will pay on the bonds. Critics see the idea as risky.