State Workers’ Union Puts Forward Plan as Part of Budget Efforts
This week, SEIU Local 1000 union presented a proposal to freeze employee health care contributions at 2008 levels as part of a package of contract proposals that the labor union estimates would save the state $150 million or more, Capitol Weekly reports.
The local is the largest bargaining unit for state workers.
Union negotiators are pushing the plan as an alternative to proposals by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) that would include forced two-day furloughs and billions of cuts to California programs.
The Schwarzenegger administration has not responded to the union's proposals, which also would affect early retirement and paid holidays for some state workers (Capitol Weekly, 1/8).
Continued Budget Talks
In related news, Schwarzenegger plans to convene a meeting of Democratic and Republican legislative leaders to address the state's budget deficit, currently estimated at $40 billion over 18 months (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 1/8).
The governor's latest budget proposal calls for borrowing, tax increases and spending cuts, including for Medi-Cal and other health care programs (California Healthline, 1/5). Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Lawsuit Thrown Out
On Wednesday, a state appeals court threw out a lawsuit that anti-tax activists and Republican lawmakers filed in an attempt to block a budget plan that Democrats introduced. The court ruled that it could not intervene because the proposal had not been signed into law.Schwarzenegger vetoed the package on Tuesday (Halper, Los Angeles Times, 1/8). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.