Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan
LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today signed House Bill 4770, a bill that prevents a public employer from providing medical or other fringe benefits to certain unrelated individuals who reside with public employees. Snyder vetoed H.B. 4771, a bill that would have amended the Public Employment Relations Act (PERA).
In a signing letter to the legislature, Snyder reiterated the fact that higher education institutions would not be included in H.B. 4770 as the constitutional autonomy of universities has been reviewed and affirmed many times by the courts since the adoption of the 1963 Michigan Constitution. Members of classified state civil service are also not covered by the terms of H.B. 4770 as the constitution gives the Michigan Civil Service Commission responsibility for setting rates of compensation and regulating all conditions of employment in the classified service.
The governor vetoed H.B. 4771 because it would supplant language and be in conflict with an important piece of legislation in the local government reform package: S.B. 493, now Public Act 260 of 2011 signed on Dec. 14, 2011.
The governor and legislature have been working hard to address the spiraling costs of health care and other post-retirement benefits over the past year by: requiring public employees to contribute to the cost of their medical benefits; bargaining with state employees to pay 20 percent of their state health plan insurance coverage costs beginning in October of 2012; approving a plan to reform and ensure sustainable cost employee retirement health care and pension benefits and cutting the state's long-term unfunded liability by one-third; and ending lawmaker lifetime health care benefits. This is a continuation of those fiscal measures.
H.B. 4770 is now P.A. 297 of 2011. Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for more information on these bills.