By Chris Megerian
December 16, 2014

Despite efforts to tackle pension costs, state leaders have not set aside money for retiree healthcare

Gov. Jerry Brown plans to address the growing cost of healthcare for retired state workers next month when he releases his new budget proposal, a spokesman for his finance department said Tuesday.

The statement came shortly after the state controller announced that the long-term financial burden of healthcare costs have jumped by an estimated $7.2 billion, reaching $71.8 billion more than has been set aside by state leaders.

“The price tag associated with providing healthcare to retired state workers has quietly grown to rival or even eclipse the funding gap associated with public pensions,” Controller John Chiang said in a statement. “If we continue to do nothing, we will be sowing the seeds of a future crisis.”

In recent years the governor and lawmakers have approved legislation chipping away at pension costs, but healthcare issues have been left unaddressed.

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