Colorado’s workers’ compensation insurer of last resort has increased its offer by $130 million to separate from the state. Gov. Bill Ritter has eyed the move to help close the state’s gaping $2 billion budget hole.
Pinnacol increased its offer from $200 million to $330 million on the heels of an audit of the insurer by Morgan Stanley, who says the company is worth $374 million to the state.
Company president and chief executive Ken Ross said in a statement last Thursday that the company would pay the state $230 million over two years and another $100 million at 11% interest over the next 30. Ross says the company’s board has approved the new offer.
Evan Dreyer, spokesman for Gov. Ritter, says the governor is reviewing the latest offer, which will require the Legislature’s approval. “We will take a few days to review this and continue discussions with legislative leaders about next steps,” Dreyer said.
Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle are still skeptical of the deal – the session is already halfway over and many of their questions still haven’t been addressed.
Pinnacol’s latest offer still would grant the company near full autonomy, allowing it to retain its federal tax-exempt status while agreeing to pay the state taxes on all of its premiums.