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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

NH Budget faces another lawsuit

Lauren Dorgan reports in the Concord Monitor on the latest legal challenge to the New Hampshire budget, this time from state retirees looking to block a new fee on their health care benefits.

The heart of the complaint centers on the way the state is taking the insurance premium, rather than the premium itself: Starting last week, a charge of $65 per single retiree or $130 per couple was deducted directly from the pension checks of hundreds of retired state employees who are under the age of 65.

The retirees claim that the deduction is an "illegal 'encumbrance' and 'diversion' " because the retirees' rights to a full pension payment is "contractually vested," according to a draft version of the lawsuit provided to the Monitor. State and federal constitutions "forbid legislation that impairs vested rights," the lawsuit reads. (more)

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