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. In response, House Democratic Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) issued the following statement:


“Tonight, I am proud House Democrats were able to protect retirement health care benefits for our state’s incredible police officers and firefighters. Previous plans that were being rushed through the process could have taken away health care benefits that our first responders were counting on. Instead, however, we were able to get House Republicans to agree to a set of recommendations put forth by the Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force — a plan House Democrats had backed from the beginning. While this is a victory for the men and women who work tirelessly and make great sacrifices to keep us safe, it also marks the beginning of another important fight to ensure that local municipalities have the tools and financial resources they need to head off similar challenges in the future.”