Statement from state Rep. Tom Cochran (D-Mason) on legislation protecting health care benefits for 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. Tom Cochran (D-Mason) issued the following statement: 

 

“It’s a privilege to be a state representative, but the greatest honor of my life was serving as a firefighter and fire chief for nearly 30 years. That’s why I fought vigorously to make sure our first responders were able to keep their earned health care benefits. Earlier today, Republicans were prepared to vote on a set of bills that could have taken that from them. Instead, my fellow House Democrats stood together, forcing them to pass a set of bills that followed the recommendations of the Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force — something we had been fighting for from the start. I was proud to vote in favor of this legislation, and am proud of the work we’ll continue doing to address critical funding issues for our local communities moving forward.”