I'm Just a Bill

A sampling of proposed state laws, as described on MichiganVotes.org

Give state employee pension increase
Introduced by state Rep. Rick Jones, R-Oneida

The bill proposes to authorize a retirement incentive for state employees whose age and years of government employment add up to at least 80 and who retired before Oct. 1, 2009. The bill would increase the multiplier used to calculate the retirement benefits of these employees from 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, which would increase the cash portion of their post-retirement benefits by 16.7 percent.

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Authorize "pension obligation bonds" for government retiree health benefits
Introduced by state Sen. Mark Jansen, R-Grand Rapids

The bill proposes to give cities, villages townships and county governments the power to borrow, without a vote of the people, money to pay for the health benefits that current and past officials have offered to government employees after they retire. A referendum on the debt would be required only if someone gathered signatures from 5 percent of local registered voters or 10,000, whichever is lower. The amount of debt imposed for these non-pension benefits for retired government employees could be as high as 5 percent of the jurisdiction's state equalized property value. Note: Under the current state Constitution, taxpayers are now required to fund these retirees' pension benefits, and this bill would convert their health care benefits into another enforceable liability.

Authorize a bicentennial of the War of 1812 specialty license plate
Introduced by state Sen. Tom George, R-Kalamazoo

The bill would authorize a "bicentennial of the War of 1812" specialty license plate, with the net premium revenue going to a Mackinac State Park Commission Fund the bill would also create.

Increase school employee pensions
Introduced by state Rep. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor

The bill proposes to increase the pension payments to school employees who retired before October 1990 by between 4 percent and 30 percent, based on when they retired. The bill does not specify the means by which the large increase in unfunded liability would be paid.

Allow some state employees to collect pension check and paycheck
Introduced by state Rep. Mark Meadows, D-East Lansing

The bill proposes to exempt former state employees from a provision prohibiting them from collecting both a pension check and a paycheck, if they return to work in a different state department than the one from which they "retired."

Authorize enhanced pension "early out" for state employees
Introduced by state Rep. Gary McDowell, D-Rudyard

The bill authorizes early retirement benefits for certain state employees who retired between Aug. 1 and Nov. 30, 2009. These employees would be able to get full benefits if their age plus years on the job equal 70 (that is, a 50-year-old with 20 years on the state payroll could get a full pension), plus the cash benefits would be increased by 33 percent until age 62, and then by 16.7 percent thereafter.

Give $40,000 to state employees who retire early
Introduced by state Rep. Rick Jones, R-Oneida

The bill proposes to pay $40,000 in a lump sum to state employees who retire between April 1 and Sept. 30, 2010. This would apply to employees whose years on the job plus their age equals 80 or more.

Cap government employee health benefits at national average
Introduced by state Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills

The bill proposes to prohibit the state from paying a higher percentage of the premium or other cost of health benefits for each state employee than the average for all the other states.

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