State employees want out of special session legislation
By Janelle Lilley
With a special legislative session just days away, the talk among lawmakers has centered around teachers, but now one group says they feel left out of the conversation, even though the fact that they're even included in the special session was a surprise to the Arkansas State Employee Association and some lawmakers."They didn't know anything about this. They thought they were going Monday to deal the the teachers health insurance only," said ASEA Executive Director Danny James of his recent conversations with legislators.James says, unlike the public school employee health insurance, state employee insurance is solvent."I know the teachers need money, and that's well and good. We've got to take care of our teachers, but state employees health insurance right now is good, and I think any changes that come, we can do them in the regular session," said James.James said state employees have expressed the most concern about their spouses, who would be dropped if they can get insurance elsewhere."They feel like their insurance is good. They're used to their doctor. Are they going to have to change doctors? What about any treatment that they're undergoing now?" asked James.Governor Mike Beebe said he doesn't want any changes to the bill, but James plans to lobby lawmakers, asking them to take state workers out of the mix, until the regular session."Bring us into this because you're going to, but give us time," said James
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