|Intro:||Small groups of Senators met to discuss ways to cut the state's budget. In the Government Administration meeting, health care changes were the biggest item on the schedule.|
Wrap: Senators discussed a consolidated health care system where different state agencies would share medical insurance plans.
St. Louis County Republican Senator Jim Lembke said the savings would be substantial.
|Description: "First year would be 12 to 20 percent and that would be realized about a 50 million dollar savings in our healthcare cost for our state employees and then in following years a five to eight percent savings."|
Additional savings would come from the option of a health savings account instead of a traditional insurance plan.
Those accounts would give employees greater flexibility in their health choices while providing incentives to stay in shape.
From the State Capitol, I'm Alex Klingelhoeffer.
|Intro:||Senators met in small groups to talk about ideas to trim the state's budget. In the Government Administration meeting, withholding funds to state agencies was seen as short term option to keep agencies staffed.|
Wrap: Senators read thousands of E-mails containing ways to trim government spending, but the politically unpopular option of state furloughs kept rearing its head.
St. Louis County Democratic Senator Tim Green said he sees this as a better option to widespread layoffs.
|Description: "In the construction industry that's what we're doing right now, is instead of people getting laid off they'll work a week off a week, work a week off a week, and that way they can keep up with their health care benefits and keep putting something in the pension."|
St. Louis County Republican Senator Jim Lembke said instead of cutting jobs, the state could cut back on benefits like subscriptions to newspapers.
From the State Capitol, I'm Alex Klingelhoeffer