Note: This page is part of the Governor's News Archive, which holds press releases from January 2009 through September 2011. Since October 2011, recent news can be found in the Newsroom and archived news is available at news.delaware.gov.
April 14, 2011
Markell Thanks Legislature for Overwhelming Votes of Support for Employee Pension and Health Care Reform – Changes Will Save Taxpayers over $480M over 15 years
20-0 Vote by Senate Sends Reforms on to Governor for Signature
Dover, DE - The State Senate, by a vote of 20 yes and 1 absent, passed a bill today to curb employee health and pension costs sending the bill to Governor Jack Markell for his signature. The House of Representatives demonstrated broad bipartisan support when it passed the bill last week.
“Having seen the protests, the fighting and the anger that’s marked these debates in other states, the broad bipartisan support and the involvement and endorsement of our state employee unions to find these savings makes even more clear that Delaware can come together to get things done,” Markell said.
Markell formed a working group of staff from his office, his Cabinet including OMB Director Ann Visalli, representatives from each legislative caucus and the state employee unions. They were tasked with crafting a solution that would create lasting savings in pension and health care costs. Together, they created the proposal, which asks future state employees to pay 5% instead of 3% of their salary towards their pension after the first $6000 earned and increases the time required to be vested in the state pension system. For new employees, the plan also eliminates the “double state share” health care benefit for future employees and will not count overtime towards future employee pension calculations. Existing state employees will pay slightly more each month for their health care.
“We are fortunate to live and work here in Delaware – where our focus is on working together. The question you most often hear is: how can we get that done? Working together, we got something done and because of it, our savings will grow each year making a real difference in long-term savings for the taxpayers of Delaware” Markell said.
The Governor will work with the legislature to schedule a time for a formal bill signing.