Nevada Board Cuts State Employee Benefits

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Nevada is slashing benefits for tens of thousands of state employees, retirees and their dependents.

The Public Employees' Benefit Program Board voted Thursday to cut $81 million in subsidized services for 70,000 participants. That amounts to about two-thirds of a $111 million cut faced by the program for the two-year cycle that begins July 1.

"Our decisions here today are going to be significant and have a long-term impact," Randall Kirner, board chairman, said near the end of the eight-hour meeting.

In order to make up for the remaining $30 million shortfall, workers and retirees will have to pay higher premiums.

The cuts will not take effect until next July. Some of them must be approved by the Nevada legislature.

Many employees and retirees say the effects on them will be drastic and could have unintended consequences.

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