Re: “State owes $7 billion in benefits” (TNT, 6-20).
The cost for these retiree health care benefits is not prefunded as pensions are but apparently are funded as part of the general fund budget each year. A atate official says these are not an obligation and will not be required if the general fund budget is to a point where they can’t be afforded.
At the special sessions for budget finalization we were bombarded about the necessary “dramatic,” even “draconian” cuts, “children will starve, health care will be cut off for many” and on and on.
If these subsidies are required by contract they should be paid. If not, why are taxpayers forced to fund bonuses for a benefit when those who have worked years in the private sector must fully pay for their own health care premiums?
Is this an obligation or not? Why not give the taxpayers a much-needed break?