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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Michigan Senate votes to end legislative lifetime health benefits, differs with House version

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Michigan’s Senate on October 5th approved a bill to end health care benefits for retired legislators. For sitting elected state officials, they modified the current plan that would protect benefit health packages for any legislator who have served six years in either chamber by January 1, 2013.

The vote was 37-1 to approve the legislation. Sen. Coleman Young Jr. (D-Detroit), the sole legislator voting against this measure.

At this point, state Senate and House bills are in contrast, on dates the lifetime health-benefit option should end. The state House passed a bill to end retiree health benefits for legislators who took office after Jan. 1, 2007. 

Michigan's Senate version puts that date at January 1, 2013, after most current elected state Senators would complete their term in office.

Currently, members of the state House and Senate only are required to serve six years for 100% vestment in the retiree health care benefits. State Legislators in both chambers who don't have six years in by 2013, would be ineligible for the benefits under the Senate version. Remaining Senators and third termers in the House would receive life-time based retiree health benefits.

Both chambers would need to reconcile the two versions of their bills dates to end legislators lifetime retiree health benefits, to reach Gov. Rick Snyder (R) desk for a signature on the measure or veto.

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