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 Rep. Brian K. Elder (D-Bay City) issued the following statement: 

“Our police officers, firefighters and first responders in Bay County are some of the bravest men and women I know. To consider taking away their health care benefits and pensions because the state has for years been underfunding local governments is morally wrong. We made a promise, and the cops and firefighters did their part by giving us 20, 25 or even 30 years of their lives, risking their safety to protect us. We need to keep our word. Period.”