Michigan police, firefighters rally over possible cuts

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Lansing police firefighters rally 112917_440545

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Hundreds of police and firefighters have rallied at Michigan’s Capitol in a show of force against pending legislation they fear could lead to cuts in retiree benefits.

Bills haven’t been introduced, and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders continue to meet.

But police officers and firefighters are in Lansing Wednesday to push lawmakers to not curtail retiree health benefits.

Republicans are concerned about $10.1 billion in unfunded liabilities for municipal retiree health care. Public safety officers agree it’s a problem, but say legislators should stick with consensus recommendations included in a task force report — not potentially interfere with collectively bargained contracts.

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says the state should provide a “pathway” to resolve unfunded liabilities locally — through increased revenue or benefit changes.

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