With state workers set to contribute to health care, will lawmakers follow suit?

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DES MOINES, Iowa — With many state workers poised to soon make monthly health care contributions for the first time, will Iowa lawmakers follow suit?

Under a recent arbitration award, workers in the largest state employees' union will have to start making a monthly contribution of at least $20 to their health benefits starting in January. This will be a shift for the majority of the 19,000 state workers represented by Local 61 the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Lawmakers in the part-time General Assembly can get plans that don't require a monthly payment. Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says he'd like to change that. But Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal was less forthcoming on whether he will consider such a change.

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