Official coalition STATEMENT
The labor/management coalition of Michigan police officers, firefighters, police and fire chiefs, Sheriffs and Deputies, does not support Senate Bills 686 through 701 and the corresponding House Bills 5298 through 5313 as introduced today.
While we had some agreement with leadership on conceptual issues, the bill language goes beyond those concepts, and the coalition CANNOT support the bills as introduced.
The bills will allow the state to impose changes to local government control of healthcare and pension benefits for active and retired police officers and firefighters. This is contrary to the recommendations of the Responsible Retirement Reform for Local Government Task Force created by Governor Snyder. The Task Force recommended giving local governments the tools to address their challenges on a local level.
Cutting benefits to first responders will make it more challenging for municipalities to attract the best talent to serve as police officers and firefighters, which could directly threaten public safety.
We are committed to maintaining open communication with the bill sponsors, House and Senate leadership and the Governor as we work to address the language in this bill package that we oppose. It is our hope that the legislature will honor the promises made by local government to fund healthcare and pension benefits.
You can see all of the proposed Senate Bills HERE.