Jansen's legislation saving hundreds of millions approved by Senate
LANSING--The state Senate passed legislation Wednesday that will save more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer money for the costs of public employee benefits, said bill sponsor Sen. Mark C. Jansen, R-Gaines Township.
Senate Bill 7 and Senate Joint Resolution C cap the amount public employers pay for employees’ health care at 80 percent of the health care costs.
“This reform provides schools with the tools to address the rising cost of benefits and focus education dollars where they belong--in the classroom,” Jansen said. “It will also save millions of dollars in taxpayer-paid benefits for state employees and state lawmakers, employees of counties, cities, villages and townships, and other public employees.”
Jansen said private sector employees in the Midwest are responsible for an average of 21 percent of their health care benefits for single coverage and 30 percent for family coverage. Public employees’ share in this region is on average 10 percent of the cost for single coverage and 15 percent for families.
“Taxpayers burdened with high unemployment, lower personal income and falling home prices shouldn’t be paying more to maintain public employees’ benefits,” Jansen said.
Jansen’s measures provide public employers with numerous options to offer employees to arrive at cumulative cost savings of 20 percent, including incentives for contributions to health savings accounts and high-deductible plans that count toward their 20 percent savings.
The legislation preserves collective bargaining agreements currently in effect. These requirements would be implemented after the current collective bargaining agreement has expired or is opened for updating. All others will have until Jan. 1, 2012 to transition to the new law.
Senate Bill 7 and Senate Joint Resolution C now head to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011
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