Member's Press Release

Release Date: 06/17/2009
Contact: House Majority Whip Mike Caputo, 304-363-7500

House Labor Caucus

House Labor Caucus Urges PEIA Board to Reject Proposal

CHARLESTON – The House of Delegates bipartisan Labor Caucus today unanimously agreed to urge the state Public Employee Insurance Agency Finance Board not to eliminate retiree health insurance benefits for future state and public school employee hires.

“I think the fact that so many House members, both Democrat and Republican, feel compelled to send this message to the PEIA Finance Board illustrates how important this issue is to the future of our state and to new state hires,” said House Majority Whip Mike Caputo, D-Marion.

The Labor Caucus, composed of 61 House members who have been endorsed by the West Virginia AFL-CIO, gathered today following the conclusion of the Legislature’s three-day special session to discuss the PEIA board’s recent actions. Fifty of the 61 caucus members were in attendance today and unanimously endorsed this action.

House Education Chair Mary Poling, D-Barbour, was among them.

“In a time when this state is hard pressed to recruit new people into the education field, PEIA is considering taking away a significant benefit,” Poling said. “It would be a big disincentive.”

Last month, Caputo publicly expressed thanks to Administration Secretary Robert Ferguson and the other members of the Public Employee Insurance Agency Finance Board for re-evaluating the board’s decision to eliminate retiree health insurance benefits for future state employees.

“I hope that the Board rejects this proposal,” he said, noting that legislation intended to enact the same proposal was introduced during the regular session, but the Legislature did not adopt it.

“We want to attract the best and the brightest to our state jobs, whether they are custodians, school bus drivers, teachers, state police officers or cabinet secretaries,” Caputo said. “Taking away this health benefit would prevent quality hires and be very detrimental to the future of our state.”

The following caucus members were present today:

Roy Givens, D-Brooke
Orphy Klempa, D-Ohio
Michael Ferro, D-Marshall
Dave Pethtel, D-Wetzel
Dan Poling, D-Wood
Dale Martin, D-Putnam
Brady Paxton, D-Putnam
Jim Morgan, D-Cabell
Doug Reynolds, D-Cabell
Dale Stephens, D-Cabell
Don Perdue, D-Wayne
Larry Barker, D-Boone
Greg Butcher, D-Logan
Jeff Eldridge, D-Lincoln
Ralph Rodighiero, D-Logan
Josh Stowers, D-Lincoln
Daniel Hall, D-Wyoming
Clif Moore, D-McDowell
John Frazier, D-Mercer
Virginia Mahan, D-Summers
Ricky Moye, D-Raleigh
Bill Wooton, D-Raleigh
Thomas Campbell, D-Greenbrier
Ray Canterbury, R-Greenbrier
Tom Louisos, D-Fayette
David Perry, D-Fayette
Margaret Staggers, D-Fayette
Bonnie Brown, D-Kanawha
Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha
Mark Hunt, D-Kanawha
Sharon Spencer, D-Kanawha
Danny Wells, D-Kanawha
David Walker, D-Clay
Brent Boggs, D-Braxton
Sam Argento, D-Nicholas
Joe Talbott, D-Webster
Bill Hamilton, R-Upshur
Mary Poling, D-Barbour
Ron Fragale, D-Harrison
Richard Iaquinta, D-Harrison
Mike Manypenny, D-Taylor
Mike Caputo, D-Marion
Linda Longstreth, D-Marion
Tim Manchin, D-Marion
Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia
Charlene Marshall, D-Monongalia
Stan Shaver, D-Preston
Ruth Rowan, R-Hampshire
Walter Duke, R-Berkeley
Tiffany Lawrence, D-Jefferson

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