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Last updated 1:06AM ET
March 3, 2021
State Benefits Costs Expected to Soar
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - State budget forecasts show that Alabama expects to pay as much as $2.27 billion next year to help provide pensions, health insurance or both for more than 260,000 active and retired teachers and other public employees.

That would be a cost increase of $1.60 billion, 241 percent, from the $666.7 million the state paid in fiscal 1999.

If benefit costs continue rising at such a rate compared with state revenues over the next decade, state Finance Director Jim Main says they could reduce the money available to hire new teachers, keep state troopers on the highways and provide other services.

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