State workers lament potential loss of benefits

By FRED LUCAS State Journal Staff Writer Published:

A House bill allowing the legislature to make changes in the retirement benefits for future employees will likely become law, as Gov. Paul Patton said he won't veto the bill.

Meanwhile, the sponsor of a Senate bill pertaining to retirement reform, which once seemed close to being passed by the full legislature, has called on the House leadership to let his bill be voted on.

Outside of the budget, legislation impacting state employees had mixed results during this session of the General Assembly set to end Tuesday.

House Bill 430, which is intended to give the legislature the option of changing benefits for state retirees, and double the time a worker has to be with the state before buying into the retirement medical system, has raised concerns among state employees.

"There's not a guarantee," said David Jackson, spokesman for the Coalition of State Employee Organizations. "You could retire and they could get rid of your benefits plan."

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.

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