Statement from state Rep. Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township) on House Democrats protecting health care for Michigan’s retired police and firefighters:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

LANSING — Tonight, House Democrats voted to protect the earned health care benefits of Michigan’s retired first responders. Last week, hundreds of police officers and firefighters rallied against proposals which could have gutted health care for local heroes. Today, the recommendation of House Democrats to implement the reforms of the bipartisan Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force was accepted. While these benefits are now protected, communities in the state continue to struggle with chronic underfunding of local budgets. While these benefits are now protected, communities in the state continue to struggle with chronic underfunding of local budgets. In response, state Rep. Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township) issued the following statement:

 “I am pleased that my Democratic colleagues and I were able to prevent bills from moving that would have made drastic cuts to first responder retirement benefits and health care. By adopting the recommendations of the Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force, we take the right first step to helping local governments address their financial issues. There is still a great deal of work to be done, however, including addressing the state’s chronic underfunding of local governments. But adopting the task force proposals is the right thing to do. I am proud to cast my vote for this plan.”