Richardson Uses Stimulus Funds To Delay Premium Increase For School Workers

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson is using $2 million in federal economic stimulus money to help protect New Mexico teachers and school employees from health insurance premium increases.

The governor announced Monday that he's also providing $500,000 in federal aid for professional development of educational assistants in Albuquerque Public Schools.

Richardson said the $2 million will offset insurance premium increases for about 33,000 school workers and save them an average of 2 percent in the current school year. Employees are not eligible for the assistance if 80 percent of their premiums are paid by their employer.

The money is from a $58 million pool of economic stimulus aid provided to the governor, which can be used at his discretion.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.