Rep Crawford bills contribute to reforms protecting police firefighter retiree benefits

first_img01Dec Rep. Crawford bills contribute to reforms protecting police, firefighter retiree benefits State Rep. Kathy Crawford of Novi said today new legislation in the Michigan House will help safeguard retiree benefits for police, firefighters and other municipal employees.The reforms will identify local government retirement plans in severe financial trouble due to underfunding, then set up a system to help them avoid financial crisis. Crawford introduced three bills in the broad, multi-bill package.“The most important item in these reforms is doing all we can to keep the promises made to firefighters, police and other local government employees for their retirement,” Crawford said. “We want to provide a structure to help local governments develop plans for the best path forward.”A task force earlier this year, assembled by Gov. Rick Snyder, explored the critical challenges posed by Michigan’s underfunded local government employee retirement systems – which have unfunded liabilities approaching $20 billion. The Michigan Legislature is following up the task force report with a multi-bill package to address mounting local retiree healthcare and pension costs.The legislation creates a reporting system with uniform financial and accounting standards for local government retirement plans. An early detection system will help local governments and the state identify potential funding problems and act quickly to mitigate them. Communities will be vetted through a state treasurer’s fiscal impact evaluation and retirement systems will be flagged as underfunded when municipalities aren’t meeting set criteria to alleviate their debts.Local governments will have plenty of opportunity to address issues on their own. But if that fails, a financial management team with local and state representation will step in to force changes to put programs back on firm financial footing.Crawford’s bills help develop the framework to ensure all local units of government have the same sorts of requirements under the new system.#####Rep. Crawford’s legislation: House Bills 5303, 5304 and 5305. Categories: Crawford News,Newslast_img

Leave a Reply