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 Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) issued the following response:

“Today, I joined first responders at a Lansing rally to speak out against the possibility that retired police and firefighters would be stripped of their health care benefits. Shame on anyone who would consider taking away health care benefits from these retirees and their spouses, many of whom are elderly and living on small pensions. These retirees are not the cause of local governments’ financial woes: Lansing Republicans are responsible for that because they have continually cut revenue sharing over the years, leaving local officials struggling to provide services. We can’t fix this by turning our backs on the people who do the toughest jobs and keep our communities safe, and I will make sure that I explain this, and the situation facing my retired first responders and their spouses, to other legislators. I stand with our police and firefighters, their families and local governments against any attempt to take away the health care benefits they earned and deserve.”