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April 2, 2009 / jimnv

Some Hope for State Employees

Recently, some Legislators commented about state employee benefits (active and retired). It seems many understand how unfair it would be to balance the state budget using cuts in salaries and health benefits. Further, the health benefit cuts would severely impact retired employees and have immeasurable consequences. 

Here are some of their comments taken from an article by Geoff Dornan, NV Appeal: “Nevada lawmakers protecting benefits” – April 2, 2009

“They deserve to know their retirement is secure,” said Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas. “The proposal to take that security away from these individuals, it’s not fair, not moral.”

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“We’re not going to accept the draconian cuts proposed by the governor,” said Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno. “We’ll do our very very best to minimize the impact. We’re going to find a solution and a shared solution and not balance the budget on the backs of state workers.”

“I don’t see how we can enact any of them,” said Buckley. “Basically it means we’re ending retiree health benefits.”  

“You can’t change the rules after they no longer have the ability to go back to work to pay for health benefits.”

When all those cuts are added together, she said the reduction to state workers would be more like 13-15 percent instead of 6 percent.

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Ways and Means Chairman Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, said the cuts wouldn’t save as much as the governor hopes in the long run because “we’re going to get them on the back end.” He said those retirees would end up in emergency rooms more and on welfare.

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Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, agreed: “The worst thing we can do to some one is take away their health insurance.”

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