Walker targeting state worker benefits to balance budget - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Walker targeting state worker benefits to balance budget

MADISON (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker is targeting state employee benefits and entitlement programs to help balance Wisconsin's budget.

Walker said in his State of the State speech on Tuesday that state employees need to contribute to their pension costs and pay more for health insurance. He also says Wisconsin's Medicaid programs are not sustainable.

While he targets those areas for cuts, he does not lay out details about what he will propose. Those will be released in the coming days in a plan he says will avoid massive layoffs and cuts to essential services.

Walker says the state will also save $600 million by starting a construction project on the Interstate 94 Zoo Interchange near Milwaukee sooner than planned.

Wisconsin faces a $3.2 billion budget shortfall by mid-2013.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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