LANSING — The Michigan House of Representatives today passed legislation which dramatically alters Michigan’s teacher retirement system. House Bill 4647 passed by a vote of 55-52 with only Republicans in support. The bill shifts the burden of cost and risk onto taxpayers, school districts and educators, while failing to address the existing Michigan Public School Retirees System (MPSERS) debt.

“Taking money out of classrooms to pay for unnecessary, politically motivated programs is just wrong,” said House Democratic Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing).  “It is disappointing that once again Republicans are passing a bill in order to make it look like they are doing something, when all they are really doing is punishing schools, families and children.”

While a Democratic proposal would have reduced risk to taxpayers and educators while simultaneously paying down the MPSERS unfunded liability in a more responsible way, the bill as passed today in the House will instead increase costs and risk to Michiganders by failing to address current debt liabilities.

“This legislation is only in the interest of ideologues and not in the interest of Michigan taxpayers,” said state Rep. Adam Zemke (D-Ann Arbor) Democratic vice-chairman for the House Education Reform Committee. “Republicans in the Legislature had an opportunity and failed to get the people of Michigan a good deal today. I am appalled that legislation supported by Republicans kicks costs to classrooms and educators and saddles future legislators and taxpayers with more debt. We deserve better from our government.”