Small Town News
Marked to sign employee pension bill
The Senate voted unanimously, with one member absent, to approve a measure to curb employee health and pension costs. The bill now heads to Gov. Jack Markell for his signature. The House had already passed the bill.
The new legislation should save taxpayers more than $130 million in the next five years and $480 million in the next 15 years, according to the Senate release.
"Having seen the protests, the fighting and the anger that's marked these debates in other states, the broad bipartisan support and the involvement and endorsement of our state employee unions to find these savings makes even more clear that Delaware can come together to get things done," Markell said.
Markell formed a working group of staff from his office, his Cabinet including Office of Management and Budget Director Ann Visalli, representatives from each legislative caucus and the state employee unions. They were tasked with crafting a solution that would create lasting savings in pension and healthcare costs. Together, they created the proposal, which asks future state employees to pay 5 percent instead of 3 percent of their salary toward their pension after the first $6,000 earned and increases the time required to be vested in the state pension system. For new employees, the plan also eliminates the "double state share" healthcare benefit
for future employees and will not count overtime toward future employee pension calculations. Existing state employees will pay slightly more each month for their healthcare.
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