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, the recommendation of House Democrats 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. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) issued the following statement:

“I was proud to support legislation tonight to codify the common-sense recommendations of the bipartisan local government retirement task force. Rather than pushing a plan that threatened to cut health care benefits for retired police, firefighters and other municipal retirees, House leadership accepted the proposal supported by House Democrats. That plan, supported by legislators on both sides of the aisle, as well as labor and municipal groups, is a good first step in addressing the chronic underfunding of our local governments. However, more work is needed. For now, I am proud that Michigan kept its promises to the first responders who keep our communities safe.”