LANSING — This week, Republican legislators considering efforts to strip away critically important benefits for retired police and firefighters, such as health care. In response, state Rep. David LaGrand (D-Grand Rapids) issued the following statement: 


“Grand Rapids is lucky to have some of the most dedicated and capable law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders in the state. To punish them in retirement by reducing or taking away their health care benefits would be a cruel insult, and one I can’t stand for. Rather than blaming them for the budget crises in local governments, let’s look at the true problem: our Legislature’s underfunding of local governments. We’ve been chronically underfunding revenue sharing to cities, counties and townships for years, and that’s coming to a head. We must invest in our local communities once again.”