Call to Order and Roll Call
The4th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on Thursday, September 28, 2017, at 1:00 PM, in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Christian McDaniel, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Christian McDaniel, Co-Chair; Representative Steven Rudy, Co-Chair; Senators Ralph Alvarado, Danny Carroll, Rick Girdler, Stan Humphries, Morgan McGarvey, Gerald A. Neal, Dennis Parrett, Wil Schroder, Stephen West, and Max Wise; Representatives Rocky Adkins, Myron Dossett, Ken Fleming, Jeff Greer, David Hale, Regina Huff, Donna Mayfield, Suzanne Miles, Jason Nemes, Ruth Ann Palumbo, Phillip Pratt, Jody Richards, Sal Santoro, James Tipton, Ken Upchurch, Jim Wayne, Russell Webber, and Jill York.
Guests: Rick Sanders, Commissioner, Kentucky State Police; Alex Payne, Deputy Commissioner, Kentucky State Police; Lt. Colonel Chad White, Kentucky State Police, Administrative Division.
Approval of the Minutes
Senator Parrett made a motion, seconded by Senator Alvarado, to approve the minutes of the August 24, 2017 meeting. The motion carried by voice vote.
Implementation of Kentucky State Trooper Salary Increases and Retention Rates
Rick Sanders, Kentucky State Police Commissioner explained how the 2016 Regular Session legislation that implemented a progressive pay scale as well as raises for Kentucky State Troopers has increased the retention rate of the Kentucky State Police.
Commissioner Sanders stated that the Kentucky State Police has on average 46 troopers per year retire, since the raise was enacted the first year only 26 troopers retired and in the second year there would have been less retirees until the pension crisis scares and the Kentucky State Police had 36 troopers retire in July 2017.
In response to a question from Representative Alvarado, Commissioner Sanders explained that he was tasked with creating a plan to integrate the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) officers into the Kentucky State Police. He stated that CVE officers who retire today will retire under that distinction. They have a choice to go through the LEAP program, in which they would take a portion of the State Police Academy and at that point would be part of the Kentucky State Police.
In response to a question from Representative Hale, Commissioner Sanders stated there are currently 853 road troopers and 97 commercial vehicle enforcement officers and the pay difference is approximately $10,000. KSP is working on bring more those in line.
In response to a question from Chairman McDaniel, Commissioner Sanders said that there are only seven troopers who are on injury time, one of whom is a trooper who was shot in the line of duty and paralyzed. Lt. Colonel White explained that the executive branch budget allows for 890 troopers. Commissioner Sanders stated that traditionally there has only been one trooper class, but there will be a request to have two classes due to the lack of candidates.
In response to a question from Representative Wayne, Commissioner Sanders explained that not getting enough qualified candidates used to be due to the lack of adequate pay, but since the enactment of the pay scale that has not been the case. There is a negative sentiment about law enforcement, retirement is not what it used to be, and the Kentucky State Police will not lower standards just to have candidates.
In response to a question from Representative Santoro, Commissioner Sanders stated that, in comparison, Kentucky State Police starts out less than Lexington Police Department by several thousand, about the same as Louisville Metro, but Louisville Metro officers advance more quickly because it takes troopers three (3) years to get a first pay increase. In comparison to surrounding states, Kentucky is considerably less.
With no further business before the committee, the meeting was adjourned.