|By Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The SEIB is currently receiving
"We're doing our best to keep costs down, but that doesn't mean we don't continue to get hit by inflation and Affordable Care Act costs," he said.
Ashmore specifically blamed the Affordable Care Act, and its requirement to provide contraceptives without co-pays, as the reason for the additional money. Ashmore said obligations from the act made up the "majority" of the costs.
Despite a voter-approved infusion of
"When you look at state employees right now, you take into account there's been no (cost-of-living increase) since 2008, there's been a 9 percent (reduction) from inflation, 2.5 percent is being taken from out of their pockets for retirement, and 2 percent because of the
Lawmakers said they were reluctant to pass new insurance costs on to state employees.
"There's always the option of having employees pay additional premium costs, but they haven't received a raise in over four years, and such an increase in employee contributions might mean less in take-home pay," said Sen.
The prior system left a great deal of uncertainty in planning budgets. However, the Legislative Fiscal Office said last week that if the old system had been kept in place, the General Fund would have about
Orr called that development "ironic," but also noted that in 2011, the General Fund was projected to receive tens of millions of dollars in revenue during budget planning that poor stock market performance wiped out by the beginning of the fiscal year that October.
"By passing the constitutional amendment, we have much more predictable revenue," Orr said.
The request from SEIB comes on top of other expected increases, including a
"It's too early to tell at this point in time how the agencies will adjust," he said. " It will be another challenging year for the General Fund budget."
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