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LAWMAKERS OK BENEFIT MANAGEMENT

Erie County legislators have approved continuing $92 million of employees' investments under management of a private company, but they balked at entering a privately managed employee-counseling program until they see more detail.

Legislators last week agreed to allow the New Jersey-based Copeland Cos., with a branch in Amherst, to administer $92 million in portions of county workers' deferred salaries for one more year.

Copeland offers the employees 88 investment programs and earns a commission from owners of the various funds.

The current contract with Copeland runs through Oct. 31, and county administrators asked for an extension now, pledging to seek competitive bids next year.

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