PNS Daily Newscast - February 17, 2020 

44 Americans infected, but not all show signs of coronavirus illness; and many NC counties declare themselves 'Second Amendment sanctuaries.'

2020Talks - February 17, 2020 

Nevada's experiment with early caucusing is underway until tomorrow. Some candidates plus some Nevada Culinary Workers Union Local 226 members oppose Medicare for All, but Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders defends it, with a study just published making the case for it.

WV's Public Retirees Rally for a Break

January 19, 2010

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Former state government workers will ask West Virginia legislators this week to improve their benefits. Spud Terry with the Coalition of Retired Public Employees says one of the things they want lawmakers to consider this session is giving them a cost of living adjustment. It's part of most retirement plans, but not theirs, he says.

"I retired in 1999. Here it is 2010, and I have the same amount of money on my pension check that I had in 1999."

Terry says they'll also be asking for an increased tax exemption and a bump for retirees ages 70 and older. He says lawmakers often tell them the tough budget situation makes these types of requests impossible, but Terry calls that unfair. In the years they were working, he says, the lawmakers asked them to accept low wages in return for promises of retirement benefits.

One serious budget concern is a deal lawmakers made years ago to give state employees a break on their health insurance in return for not taking sick days. Terry says depending on who interprets the accounting rules, this "trade" could mean the state has a huge future liability. He doesn't think lawmakers should try to hold the retirees responsible for that.

"That wasn't just something they was doing to be nice guys. The only thing they want to talk about now is how much it costs 'em now, and not how much it saved at the beginning."

The coalition meets with lawmakers Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the food court in the State Capitol.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV