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Riley Proposes Health Coverage Plan

By Associated Press

Montgomery, AL – State Finance Director Jim Main says Governor Riley will ask the new Legislature to create a trust fund to help pay for retired public employees' health care coverage. Beginning January first, the Government Accounting Standards Board is requiring all governments to take into account the future health insurance costs of their retirees. Finance experts estimate Alabama's cost at up to 20 (B) billion dollars to pay for health insurance coverage for current retirees and future retirees over the next 30 years. Main says bond rating agencies want to see Alabama address the issue and a trust fund is the way to do that. A trust fund is legally projected so state officials can't raid it in the future. Main says the trust fund would keep Alabama's bond rating good ... and that would mean lower interest rates if the Legislature approves a 500 (M) million bond issue for education construction projects next year.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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