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Snyder signs 200th bill into law, ends lawmaker lifetime health care benefits

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation that will end retiree health care benefits for most current and all future lawmakers, a reform the governor called long overdue.

"This is an exceedingly generous benefit that is clearly out-of-step with the private sector," Snyder said.  "I want to thank both Republican and Democrat lawmakers for acting where previous Legislatures failed to eliminate this costly benefit."
Currently, lawmakers are eligible to receive retirement health care benefits starting at age 55 after putting in as few as six years of service to the state, a perk that is a constant source of frustration for the public. 

House Bill 4087, sponsored by state Rep. Joel Johnson, eliminates the benefit for any lawmaker who is not already vested by Jan. 1, 2013.  This means out of the 147 lawmakers currently serving, 97 will lose the benefit, as will all lawmakers elected in the future.

"Over time, this solution will eliminate a costly long-term liability to the state," Snyder said.  "I especially want to thank freshman state Rep. Joel Johnson for leading by example."

The bill to end lawmaker retiree health care is now P.A. 200 of 2011.