Gilmore steers near health fund


Contact Jeff E. Schapiro at (804) 649-6814 or

State employees are asking, Is nothing sacred? First, they're stiffed on a pay raise. Then, Gov. Jim Gilmore attempts a raid on their retirement fund. And now, it seems, the state worker health insurance program could take a big hit.

The reason? You guessed it: Gilmore's increasingly pricey no-car-tax program.

Administration and legislative officials say it appears that the Republican - in his zeal to preserve the on-time, 70 percent car-tax reduction and cover a $421 million budget shortfall - is contemplating draining about $35 million from the Health Insurance Fund, an $85 million kitty that covers everything from annual checkups to catastrophic care for 160,000 government workers and their families.