National

Aug 6, 2010 8:36 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Nevada slashes state employee benefits, costs

A state panel has voted to slash benefits for tens of thousands of Nevada public employees, retirees and their dependents, including eliminating some benefits and drastically reducing others.

The Public Employees' Benefit Program Board on Thursday cut nearly $81 million in subsidized services for 70,000 participants. That's about two-thirds of a $111 million shortfall faced by the program for the two-year budget cycle that begins July 1.

The remaining $30 million will be made up in higher premiums paid by workers and retirees. The board will tackle those options when it meets next month. The cuts passed Thursday won't take effect until next July.

Some of them must be approved by the Nevada Legislature. Representatives of retirees and employee groups say the changes are drastic and could have unintended consequences.

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