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California's retiree health liability up to $63.8 billion

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — The long-term cost of providing health and dental benefits for retired state workers has jumped up $1.7 billion in a year.
 
State Controller John Chiang released a new report Thursday showing that California taxpayers are on the hook for an estimated $63.8 billion over 30 years. The unfunded liability as of June grew from $62.1 billion a year earlier.
 
Chiang says the liability grew less than expected due to fewer and less expensive claims.
 
California follows a pay-as-you-go method and allocated $1.8 billion in the current budget to pay for current and future retirees. Chiang says California should have really put in $5 billion to meet its long-term obligations.
 
The controller is urging lawmakers to pre-fund the benefits just as the state does for pension benefits.