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Deduction For Teacher Health Care Ruled Unconstitutional

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled unconstitutional a state law forcing school employees to pay 3 percent of their salary toward retiree health care.

Thursday’s 2-1 ruling, released Friday, states that multiple constitutional rights in both the U.S. and Michigan constitutions were violated.

“Specifically, we conclude that the statute violates federal and state constitutional protections against: state impairment of contracts, the taking of private property by the government without compensation as well as the constitutional guarantee of substantive due process.”

- View a copy of the opinion (.pdf format) -

The contribution was put into place in 2010, and unions representing teachers filed suit. In 2011, retired Ingham County Circuit Judge James Giddings, who was hearing the case before he stepped down and returned to finish the job, ruled that school employees were paying into a system that may not ultimately benefit them.

The contribution was instituted as part of an effort to save hundreds of millions of dollars for the state.

“This is a setback for Republicans and Governor Rick Snyder,” Skubick said. “The governor will take this to the Supreme Court because they need that money to keep that fun, the retirement fund, solvent.”

MLive.com reports some unions want the money to be refunded.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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