Budget Director Questions State Employee Benefits

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Says retiree benefits are too expensive and should be denied to new hires.

The Michigan Capitol is shown at twilight Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009, in Lansing, Mich. Lawmakers continue work on budget bills that deal with a $2.8 billion shortfall before an Oct. 1 deadline. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

State budget director John Nixon says health coverage for retired state workers is an expensive benefit that needs to change.
Speaking Monday to the Business Leaders for Michigan summit, Nixon says he thinks the benefit should no longer be extended to new employees like him.
The former Utah budget director began working in Michigan in early January.
Nixon says 13 percent of the state payroll goes to pay for retirees' current health costs, and that's not counting what it will cost in the future
Michigan has about 55,000 retired state workers and about 50,000 current workers.
Nixon says his remarks were his personal opinion, not necessarily the stance of his boss, Gov. Rick Snyder.

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