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. Jim Ellison (D-Royal Oak) issued the following statement: 

“As the former mayor of Royal Oak for 13 years, I watched as the state steadily reduced revenue sharing to local governments. This constant reduction in payments to municipal governments made it increasingly more difficult to pay first responders what they were worth, and to offer them the retirement benefits they earned. Rather than talking about reducing the retirement health care of our police, firefighters and paramedics, we should be talking about how much to restore to revenue sharing to local governments, so that we can start to build up our public safety again. The Republican attack on our first responders is disheartening and wrong-headed, and I will fight against this effort.”