Longer session looming: What MI lawmakers could accomplish

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — While many people are taking time off to prepare for and enjoy the holidays, one group of Michigan lawmakers may be adding work days to their schedule.

The House was scheduled to wrap up its session on Thursday, Dec. 14. However late last week, the clerk’s office said the final session could be held Dec. 19, 20 and 21.

The reason for the extension is most likely related to legislation introduced last week aimed at addressing about $10.1 billion in unfunded retiree health care benefits for firefighters and police officers around the state.

The bills introduced would set up a reporting system to see which municipalities are in good shape and which are in danger of collapsing because of the funding shortfall.

The plan would also allow for the creation of a Financial Management Team, which could step in in dire circumstances.

The plan is not favored by many municipalities, public employee union groups and Democrats who say a FMT is too much like the state’s emergency manager system, which many also oppose.

Republicans appear poised to try to find enough GOP votes in both chambers to pass a plan. The extra work days could be to ensure they have enough time to get a deal done.

However, it’s also possible House members could use the tentative three-day extension to address other unfinished business, like no-fault auto insurance reform or legislation that would ease some restrictions on concealed pistol license holders.

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