ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal defended his decision to cut health insurance funding for about 11,500 part-time school workers, such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers, on Thursday, citing a fairness issue, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.

Deal called his decision fair because the state doesn’t provide health insurance funding for its part-time state employees — full-time teachers and state employees do get subsidized health insurance, according to the newspaper. He added that it is an ongoing discussion and he thinks more people are asking why people who work less than 30 hours a week are eligible for funding when some state employees aren't.

Some lawmakers from the Democrat and Republican parties have said they oppose cutting health coverage for school bus drivers. State Rep. Bill Werkheiser, R-Glennville, told The Atlanta-Journal Constitution that he predicts the majority of drivers in rural parts of the state will no longer drive if the benefit is cut.

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