Local: Public employee benefits should be cut
“Republican Terry Branstad recently said he wants to cut the cost of state government by 15 percent, if elected. We look forward to Branstad providing a detailed plan for how he’d do that. The state work force is already smaller than it has been in years. Providing health and human services is especially important in difficult economic times. Where can spending be reduced on the biggest ticket items, such as education?
“But Branstad was specific about one place the state can save some dollars: salary and health benefits for public workers. The former governor said he wants to look at reworking the system that awards pay increases to employees based on longevity. He also said public employees should contribute to their health insurance premiums.”