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Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell speaking at CPAC. 19 February 2010.
Gov. Bob McDonnell
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has ordered state agencies to cap the hours of part-time and hourly employees to 29 hours per week to avoid hitting the Affordable Care Act's 30-hour threshold that would require the state to provide health insurance coverage to those employees.

The requirement is causing confusion throughout state agencies, including at the state's community colleges, where they would have to figure out how to cap the hours for some 9,000 adjunct faculty, and at agencies that provide direct community service.

“We’re trying to get a really good grasp of who we have, what are the jobs they’re doing, if they’re working more than 30 hours, is it necessary, why?” Secretary of Administration Lisa Hicks-Thomas, said in an interview Friday.
Local governments face the same questions and challenges for their employees and workers in state-supported local positions, such as community services boards for people with behavioral health conditions.

“We are trying to come up with alternative plans in each situation and try to find a way to get the hours under the threshold or otherwise find ways to cover the work,” said Chesterfield County Administrator James J.L. Stegmaier.

The state estimates that providing health insurance to part-time employees could cost as much as $110 million a year. An AP report suggests that this might be an interim measure "until officials figure out how to comply with federal health insurance requirements regarding those who work more than 30 hours each week," but it's in the state's budget for this year. McDonnell is also still deciding whether or not to accept the Medicaid expansion offered under Obamacare, a decision that might be easier to make after facing backlash from state employees who will likely be denied insurance. Some of those employees could probably qualify for Medicaid under its more generous formula.

Some public colleges have made this shift with their employees, but so far Virginia seems to be the only state to adopt it. But it probably won't be the last.

There's ongoing discussion in eXtina's diary.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos, Daily Kos Labor, and Daily Kos.

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