Washington, Calif. Governors Wrestle With Public Employee's Health Benefits

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has asked government workers to consider health care benefit cuts. Meanwhile, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing an overhaul of the structure of benefit packages.

The Seattle Times: Union Opposes Governor's Suggestion To Cut Benefits
Citing a looming budget shortfall, Gov. Chris Gregoire's office on Wednesday asked union-represented government workers to consider cutting their health-care benefits to save the state money. The initial reaction from the largest state-employee union? Fat chance. "We think she needs to look elsewhere," said Tim Welch, a spokesman for the Washington Federation of State Employees, which represents about 40,000 government workers who get state health care benefits (Garber, 10/26).

The Washington Post: Calif. Gov. Brown To Seek Higher Employee Pension, Health Care Payments
Gov. Jerry Brown will propose sweeping rollbacks to public employee pension benefits in California, including raising the retirement age to 67 for new employees who are not public safety workers and requiring state and local employees to pay more toward their retirement and health care, according to a draft of the plan obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press (10/27).

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