When the city had stimulus funds, it was able to give fairly generous benefits to its laid off employees. But that was 2009. Now, that money is gone, and so too are the benefits.

A few years ago, employees would receive subsidized COBRA coverage for as much as 15 months, now it’s back to four.

Fortunately, few employees are going to be subject to the newly reinstated terms. The city budget calls for the elimination of 34 positions, and all but 7.5 are currently vacant.

From the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

Employees laid off from the City of Santa Rosa next year will get a less generous benefits package.

Under a plan approved by the City Council Tuesday, laid-off workers will get one week off to look for work, one year of financial counseling to help them through their transition to a new job, and a smaller COBRA health care benefit.

But the 2009 federal stimulus program, or American Relief and Recovery Act, allowed the city to subsidize COBRA benefits for workers for up to 15 months. Now the stimulus money has dried up, and the benefit level is dropping back to its previous level of four months of COBRA.

Read the full article here.