Governor Burgum has vetoed most of the funding bill for the Public Employees Retirement System – leaving just the appropriation.
The vetoed sections include a study – pushed by House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R-Fargo) – of whether the state should adopt a health self-insurance plan for state employees. Carlson had proposed converting the plan from a hybrid plan – a mix of fully funded insurance and self insurance -- to a full self-insurance plan – but he settled for a two year Legislative study. However, the study would have mandated a self-insurance proposal come forward.
"Basically, what the Governor has done is -- he turned this back into a funding bill," said North Dakota United president Nick Archuleta. "We think that's a pretty good idea."
North Dakota United is a union representing state employees. Archuleta said his group isn't afraid of studying the health insurance benefit.
"But I tend to agree with the Governor when he states, the Legislature has plenty of input to members of the PERS board itself, as well as having the Employee Benefits Programs Committee," Archuleta said.
Archuleta said his group is “laser-focused” that state employees will get the best health insurance plan – and he said the current hybrid plan is very good.