Gov. Fletcher Calls for Special Session Oct. 5

(AP) -- Governor Ernie Fletcher is calling for a special legislative session on October 5 to address the health insurance changes facing state workers.

Fletcher announced the session at a hastily called news conference late Tuesday afternoon.

Fletcher recently announced plans to overhaul the state health insurance plan for next year. The move affects thousands of state employees, teachers, and public school workers.

Under the plan, most will pay more in deductibles and co-payments starting in 2005.

Teachers have threatened to strike in protest of the plan. The Kentucky Education Association board of directors has voted in favor of teachers going on strike starting October 27 if their health insurance demands aren't met.

The KEA wants the 2004 health insurance benefits restored for next year. The organization wants a commitment from Fletcher to collaboratively work on a 2006 plan that would compare to Kentucky's neighboring states.

If those requirements weren't met, the KEA wants school districts to allow teachers and school employees to participate in a September 27 day of protest. If their demands weren't met a month later, KEA officials say teachers should strike indefinitely.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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