Bill Signed Addressing Retiree Benefits

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Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a bill that addresses West Virginia teacher's post employment benefits.
It's the OPEB which involves covering health care after retiring.

It's a nearly 500 million dollar legislative prediction to cover post employment health care costs.

"This bill dedicates about 35 million a year towards reducing and eventually eliminating that liability," says Delegate John Ellem.

Until now lawmakers agreed it's an unfunded liability.

It's a solution school districts and the state agree took a while but is worth it.

"To come to find some kind of understanding about what the problem is, was first of all part of the issue plus and to find the money to provide the financial support to finally do it was another long term effort by the legislature," explains Wood County School's Superintendent Patrick Law.

It's all about guaranteeing retirement funds without saddling counties with the burden.

"It was a debt that belonged on the states books, not our books, it causes difficulty with bonding," says superintendent Law.

It's the final financial challenge the state finally solved without raising income taxes.

"This money will come out of personal tax revenue, the money that is going to be used had previously, and still is going toward the old workers compensation system," says Delegate Ellem.

"The extreme effort that the legislature has had to undertake to get to this point. It is going to be a relief to all of our schools I think moving forward from this point," says Superintendent Law.

Delegate Ellem explains five million of the 35 will be used for future retirees fund.

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