Yesterday Gov. Perdue vetoed two more bills approved by the General Assembly. One of the bills, SB 265, would have required state employees and retirees to contribute a small amount to help finance their enrollment in the financially-strapped State Health Plan.
According to the bill’s fiscal note, asking state workers and retirees to contribute about $11 or $22 per month (depending on their level of coverage) along with mild increases in co-pays would save taxpayers more than $400 million over the next two budget years.
The State Health Plan has been in dire straights the last few years, and it is projected it will need to be bailed out by taxpayers again to the tune of an additional $515 million over the next two years to cover benefits. SB 265 would have saved taxpayers from shouldering the load again, but Perdue vetoed the bill to side with a special interest group she wants to make sure continues to support her re-election campaign.
A further note about the State Health Plan: there still has not been any serious attention paid to the massive (and growing) $33 billion unfunded liability for retiree health benefits.
Perdue’s veto avoids any sensible reform and kicks the can further down the road.