Gov. Butch Otter’s budget director, Brad Foltman, is briefing the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning on Otter’s proposed budget. Among the details he’s revealed: Otter’s plan to give merit-based raises averaging 5 percent to state employees but hold benefit costs neutral could mean state workers pay more for their health insurance. “For the employee, there is a very high likelihood that those with many dependents will see a change in their costs,” Foltman told the panel. “It could mean the deductibles are higher, co-payments.” The increases will be similar to what people across the country face in their health insurance costs, Foltman said. “We think it’s important to maintain the coverage that we have. … It does reflect the governor’s desire to have more personal responsibility evident in how people utilize those services.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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