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, thanks to the thousands of first responders and municipal employees that raised their voices, the recommendation 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, state Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) issued the following statement:

“Tonight, I proudly voted in favor of legislation that protects our first responders and municipal employees from unnecessary cuts to their retiree health care while also providing local governments with new tools to deal with their retirement obligations. Hundreds of my constituents contacted me by phone and email to urge their support for our local public servants, and thanks to those voices, these critical retirement benefits were saved. Although there is more work to be done, tonight is a win-win for municipalities and public service employees and retirees across the state.”