LANSING — This week, Republican legislators are considering efforts to strip away critically important benefits for retired police and firefighters, such as health care. In response, state Representative Bill Sowerby (D-Clinton Township)) issued the following response:

“Stripping the health benefits firefighters and police officers earned is absolutely wrong. What Lansing Republicans are considering is just another example of making it harder for people to have an adequate retirement. Even more, the possible legislation is unnecessary because there’s a task force report that offers needed local government reforms without taking away the benefits our first responders earned. The people who run into burning buildings and put themselves in harm’s way need to know that they will have the health insurance they earned to deal with the health issues that, more often than not, are the result of their job. With my many years of previous local government experience I have seen the dwindling amount of people applying to be first responders. By further attacking benefits people receive from these professions, we will not be able to attract the best and brightest to serve our communities. I stand with my first responders and will be opposing potential legislation that takes away the benefits they deservedly earned.”