Statement from State Representative Patrick Green (D-Warren) on pension and health care reform legislation:

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

“Over the last week, numerous constituents have reached out to me to share their concerns over pending legislation in the House and Senate that would make significant changes to current teacher and municipal employee retirement plans. I want you to know that I will vote against any legislation proposed during this lame-duck session that would enact major changes to retirement benefits that have been promised to employees.

I am encouraged to hear it is unlikely that neither set of bills will be voted on for the remainder of this legislative session. That being said, I will remain vigilant and firm in my opposition to attempts to rush legislation that proposes changes to teacher pensions, and any similar proposals regarding retiree benefits. 

I believe we have a responsibility to weigh all aspects of this issue before we act. Pension reform is complicated and this legislation would have an impact on thousands of Michigan residents. All local municipalities and school districts have different funding levels and nuanced forms of retiree benefits; a one-size-fits-all solution would not impact all municipalities and school districts in the same way, and we should not pass a policy that enacts sweeping changes in this manner. 

Local government employees and teachers are hardworking public servants, the majority of whom have planned their financial future around retirement benefits. Instead of attempting to hastily cut these benefits, we should work together to pass financially sound policies that protect the sacrifices they have made on our behalf throughout the years.”