WV special session ends with budget, PEIA bills

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Closing out a 17-day special session, West Virginia legislators put the final touches on a $4.187 billion 2016-17 state budget on Tuesday — including amending it to include a new reserve fund to lessen the impact of pending premium increases for retirees and public employees covered by the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

House Democrats, in particular, raised concerns that the additional funding in the budget bill (SB 1013) for employers’ PEIA premiums would effectively result in pay cuts for retirees and public employees with PEIA health insurance. State law requires an 80-20 match between employer and employee PEIA premiums.

Under the provision added to the budget, for the next five years, $15 million a year in unappropriated funds in special revenue accounts would be placed into the new PEIA Stability Fund to help offset current and future premium increases.

Of that amount, $5 million would go to reduce retiree premium increases from 12 percent to 6 percent…

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