Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Council considered and then deferred on second reading, until March 2021, the bill to end life-time health care benefits for metro Council.

by Rod Williams - On Tuesday night the council considered  and then deferred on second reading the bill to end life-time health care benefits for metro Council.  This was after earlier in the month getting the bill put back on the agenda after it was taken off of the agenda over the objection of the sponsor (link).  The bill was deferred until March 2021! I am usually OK with a deferral of one meeting or maybe two meetings of anything that is controversial.  People may need more information or they may just need to think about their vote before casting it.  However a six and a half month delay is an outrage.  The deferral vote passed 20-18. Check back. I will be posting the names of those who voted for this unheard of lengthy delay. 

The Council amended the bill so as to exempt from the impact of the bill anyone currently serving.  Those currently serving if reelected and serve a total of eight years would get the current deal.  That current deal is that when they leave office, former council members continue to get the Metro employee health insurance for themselves and family as if they were an employee.  That is, they pay a quarter of the premium and the city pays the rest.  This amendment probably enhances the chance that the bill will pass. 

An amendment by Freddie O'Conner is pending that would not end  the benefit for future Council members but would reduce the benefit to instead of the city paying 75% of the premium and the former Council member paying 25%, the former member would pay 75% of the premium and the city would pay 25%.  While I think the benefit should be abolished outright, if I were serving in the Council and thought that a straight repeal would fail, I would vote for this amendment.  A half loaf is better than none. 

See this link for more on this story, and this link, this link 

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