Wednesday, April 21, 2010
State lawmakers decided to leave the monthly stipend in the state budget for retired state workers, helping many low income retirees pay the high costs of health insurance. Legislative Director for AFSCME Council 79 Doug Martin credits this win to those same retirees and state employees who made the calls necessary to sway the vote. He says that he is more than pleased with the decision state lawmakers made on the monthly stipend, but also feels their job is not over. He says there are still many cuts they are worried about that could affect employees in adult mental health programs, commitment to mental health programs, and the juvenile system. He says he aims to direct those cuts to targeting vacant positions. However, he also says one of his main focuses now is the threat of a three-percent cut on state and university workers. He encourages people to continue calling the legislature to let them know how they feel about the bill. Martin says AFSCME is working with the sub committee chairs, budget chairs, and majority and minority offices to provide people with a way to share how they feel about the bills being proposed. He recommends those concerned to contact the number 1-866-580-3030.