24 February 2010

50 School Boards Sue State over OPEB

All but five of West Virginia's 55 county school boards have carried out their threat to sue the state over the way they are billed for non-pension retiree benefits, The Associated Press reports.

The Kanawha Circuit Court lawsuit alleges "the state should be responsible for paying for the benefits it promised current and retired public employees, as it sets retiree health benefits and rates," the article said. "They also object to having to list as current debt what they don't or can't pay toward their 'annual required contribution.'"

The News and Sentinel of Parkersburg first reported on the lawsuit. That article noted that "the lawsuit had been in a holding pattern for months as school officials waited to see whether state legislators could work out a plan to deal with the growing Other Post Employment Benefits debt, also known as OPEB."

But as AP recently reported, a bill on the subject failed to emerge by a Monday filing deadline. "A Senate committee could still launch a limited bill by Friday," that AP article said.

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