Politics | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Tally Commissioner Proposes Not Hiring Smokers

By: Matt Galka Email
By: Matt Galka Email

Tallahassee, FL -- As the city of Tallahassee tries to balance a budget that is facing a $5 million dollar projected hole, one commissioner made no butts about a proposal on how to save some cash.

"Once again we're seeing another increase in healtHcare costs for the government, and smokers are a higher risk. I just don't think we should hire people that smoke cigarettes and are at risk and are going to increase our healthcare costs," said city commissioner Scott Maddox.

Maddox isn't blowing smoke. He says that the city's budget shouldn't be using taxpayer money to fund smoker's higher insurance costs. We asked for your input on our WCTV Facebook page and the reactions have been mixed.

Aspen Billie N Holly said "next i think we should not elect idiots like that...why do people in power feel the NEED to CONTROL other people?"

Vincent Irving was in favor of the proposal, simply stating "best idea ever."

Commissioner Maddox said he wasn't opposed to limiting the idea just to people who light up. He said he'd look into other factors that may raise premiums as well.

"I'm open to looking at all factors to lower our healthcare costs, but the one that comes to mind immediately are smokers," said Maddox.

If Maddox has his way, people who are employed already and do smoke would be grandfathered into the system.

Currently the city has $17.8 million dollars budgeted for healthcare costs. The city's 2014 budget takes effect in the fall.


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