LANSING, Mich., Sept. 22, 2023 — State Rep. Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City) commended the House Economic Development and Small Business Committee for passing House Bill 4618 this month in unanimous, bipartisan fashion.


HB 4618 would give regional airport authorities such as the Northwest Regional Airport Authority — which oversees Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) — the ability to expand their contributions to their employees’ medical benefits plans. This bill amends the Publicly Funded Health Insurance Contribution Act to allow regional airport authorities to be included in the definition of a “local unit of government” for the purpose of allowing their boards to exempt themselves from contribution limits to an employee’s medical benefits plan.


“Currently, most other regional airport authorities in Michigan already have the ability to enhance their employees’ medical benefits as a means of attracting and retaining talent. This bill simply puts airport authorities like ours here in the 103rd District on even footing so they can address staffing shortages while supporting employees’ basic needs,” Coffia said. “I am proud to partner in supporting both employer and employee needs to help our regional economies flourish and improve health care access and quality of life for our workforce.”


“Cherry Capital Airport greatly appreciates Rep. Coffia’s efforts to update 2011 PA 152 to reflect the updated changes in the Michigan Aeronautics Code for Airport Authorities,” said Kevin Klein, Cherry Capital Airport CEO and Michigan Association of Airport Executives legislative chair. “This change simply holds the airport in the same regard as other governmental entities and keeps Cherry Capital a competitive employer by offering great benefits.”


The bill now goes to the House floor for further consideration.