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House panel OKs bill on retired teachers' benefits

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A bill aimed at protecting health care
benefits for Kentucky's retired teachers has cleared its first
hurdle in the General Assembly.
The measure won approval from the House Education Committee on
Thursday.
Under the proposal, active teachers would contribute more of
their pay to support the health program. Retired teachers under age
65 who now pay nothing for basic health coverage would begin
contributing. Public school districts would pick up a share of
retired teachers' health coverage.
The cost of retired teachers' health care has risen sharply in
recent years.
The state has redirected about $562 million since 2004 from the
teachers' pension fund to help cover health costs. The committee
was told this week that bill would phase out the need for the state
to borrow money to help cover its share of the retirees' health
care costs.
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The legislation is House Bill 540.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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