LANSING — This week, Republican legislators introduced legislation to strip away critically important benefits for retired police and firefighters, such as health care. In response, state Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-Dearborn) issued the following statement:

“Over the last 17 years, Michigan has taken away almost $9 billion in revenue sharing from local governments. Now, communities across the state are struggling to meet their obligations to the first responders that have kept them safe. Instead of helping local governments recover that lost money, Republicans are suggesting that we slash police and firefighter retiree benefits. Such attempts are disrespectful to their service and go against the commitments the state made to them. It is both very disturbing and hypocritical for some legislators to utilize every opportunity they can to take their photo with our first responders, but then attempt to gut their retirement benefits behind their backs in closed-door meetings. We must provide the ability for police, firefighters and municipal employees to retire with the freedom and dignity that they have earned.”