W.Va. Gov Suggests Temporary Relief From OPEB

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Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- Relief may be in the making for county and local governments worried about non-pension retiree costs.

Manchin administration officials told lawmakers Thursday that the state could change the way it bills these government employers for other post-employment benefits or OPEB.

They say they're drafting legislation so counties, municipalities and school boards don't have to list these costs as current debts on their books.

The measure could come up next month, if Gov. Joe Manchin decides to call a special session.

Accounting rules now require all government employers to calculate what they've promised workers in non-pension retirement benefits, mostly health coverage and life insurance.

West Virginia's statewide OPEB liability is an estimated $7.8 billion.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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