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. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) issued the following statement:

“One year ago, I served as the top Democrat on the House Local Government Committee and worked alongside Michigan’s police officers and firefighters to help defeat the GOP plan to dismantle the health care benefits of our first responders and other local government employees. Our victory spurred the creation of the Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force to take a balanced approach in solving a funding crisis in local communities by making sure the workforce sat alongside management to reach a solution.

Today, one year later, we again defeated an extreme Republican proposal and instead I voted to enact the task force recommendations into law to help communities find a path to financial solvency.

But make no mistake, there is still more work to do. The state woefully underfunds Michigan communities and causes municipalities to miss financial obligations. Every other state shares its tax dollars with their local government, but only the communities in Michigan experience shrinking municipal revenue. It is way overdue for Michigan to catch up to the 49 other states whose communities have enjoyed municipal revenue growth.”