Insurance to cut small pay hikes

By MELISSA ARNOLD, GAYLE COULTER, BETH CRACE and C Published:

Gov. Ernie Fletcher delivered a budget address Tuesday he said was designed to make the state competitive, highlighting economic development and investments for the future.

Fletchers plan would pump money into local projects such as renovations to the Capitol, Capital Plaza tower and Kentucky State Universitys campus.

Personnel

Cost-of-living increases are proposed for teachers, to be paid out of school districts reserve funds, and public employees. Salaries would increase 1.5 percent in the first year and 3 percent in the second year under the proposed biennium budget.

No layoffs are included but state Budget Director Bradford Cowgill said agencies, which have already endured across-the-board 2.5 percent budget cuts, will have to deliver a plan to implement pay raises with no extra money from the state.

Fletcher also said state employees would have to do more cost-sharing for health insurance. Fletcher said employees carrying a single insurance policy, which up until now was entirely paid for by the state, will have to pay for at least some of their health insurance.

To ensure fairness, we will provide reduced rates to employees at the lowest end of the compensation scale, and to employees who need to enroll family members in the plan, said Fletcher.

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

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