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. Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw) issued the following statement:

“Democrats have successfully stopped legislation that would have robbed our police officers and firefighters of their hard-earned and critically necessary health care benefits. I am proud to join my colleagues in ensuring they have the protections they were promised by the state. By accepting the task force’s recommendations, we are one step closer to addressing our chronic underfunding of local governments — who have lost $8.1 billion in revenue sharing over the past 17 years — while still guaranteeing that our hometown heroes have the protections they were promised and deserve.”