GOP bill would charge state workers for health

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Republicans in the Oregon House are proposing that state workers pay 5 percent of their salary to cover health care costs.

The proposal is contained in a bill introduced Wednesday. State workers would pay between $50 and $500 per month, raising an estimated $69 million.

Proponents say the measure would help fill a $21 million gap in the budget for the Department of Corrections and could also provide money for schools. But opponents say employee compensation should be subject to collective bargaining, and state workers have previously given up pay increases to maintain free health care.

The Legislative fiscal office says the move would save the state about $69 million in a two-year budget.