Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
jmiller@sacbee.com
January 25, 2017 – 1:52 PM

California faces a $76.67 billion cost to provide healthcare and dental benefits to retired state employees, state Controller Betty Yee reported Wednesday, an increase of $2.49 billion over the previous year’s estimate.

The unfunded liability – what it would cost to provide health and dental benefits that had been earned as of June 30, 2016 – would be about $1.45 billion more but for slower-than-expected growth in health care claims and lower costs, the report said.

The estimates are part of the latest required accounting of non-pension retirement benefits for state workers. California’s current budget allocates $1.92 billion to pay for retiree healthcare, representing about 1.5 percent of the general fund. Sixteen years ago, retiree healthcare represented 0.6 percent of the general fund, Yee’s office said.

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