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With no state budget, PEIA again OKs benefit cuts

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Teachers and other public employees are once again looking at cuts to their health insurance benefits as enrollment for next year’s plans approaches and the West Virginia Legislature has failed to pass a budget or increase funding for the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

The PEIA Finance Board reluctantly approved the plan Wednesday, while hoping it will be able to reverse course if the Republican-led Legislature approves more money for the agency.

Republican legislative leaders repeatedly have promised that they will fully fund PEIA, staving off the cuts first discussed in December, but they have failed to come to terms on a budget.

After Wednesday’s meeting was announced last week, Senate President Bill Cole, R-Mercer, and House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, released a statement calling the meeting unnecessary and promising to fully fund PEIA, while also saying the state government is too big.

“We maintain our belief that the additional meeting and action of the PEIA board is unnecessary…

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