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Michigan Measure May Shift Health Costs To Workers

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Republicans who control the Michigan Senate are continuing their push to require public employees in the state to pay at least 20 percent of their health insurance premiums.

The Senate approved measures aimed at adopting the requirement Wednesday by 25-13 and 26-12 votes, mostly along party lines. The measures advance to the Republican-led House.

If this passes the House, WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said public school teachers will be among those to take a hit.

"This is, again, part of the governor's reinvention strategy which Senate Republicans are embracing whole-heartedly," he said.

"It basically says that teachers have to contribute 20 percent of their health care costs, with the district picking up 80 percent," Skubick said.

Republicans say the measures are designed to control government costs in an era of stressed government budgets at the state and local levels.

Democrats and labor leaders say health care costs should be handled during contract negotiations between public employee unions and employers, not through state law.

The legislation would affect employees with the state, local governments, public school districts, public universities and other public employers.
The measures are Senate Bill 7 and SJR C

- Read a related story -

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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