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New Law To Set Public Worker Health Care Cap

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LANSING (WWJ) – It’s a blow to public employee unions in the state of Michigan. Lawmakers have approved a plan to force local governments and school districts to cap health care spending or risk losing state aid.

The move, which would require workers to kick in 20 percent for coverage and limit officials’ ability to negotiate local contracts, was once proposed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm and then again by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Talking to WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick, School Board Association lobbyist Don Wotrub said the proposal is popular among some on the local level.

“I think districts have been moving in a direction towards 80-20 or premium cost-sharing, but the time it would take to get there would be even years if we left it up to the locals,” said Wotruba.

“Schools can’t afford that time frame. We need to try to move it in this direction in a much quicker period of time,” he said.

State Democrats oppose it, saying it should be left to the locals to decide.

Gov. Snyder is expected to sign the legislation.

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