In Michigan
1:36 pm
Tue January 19, 2010

Democrats call for ending lifetime benefits for MI lawmakers

LANSING, MI –

A group of Democratic lawmakers say members of the state Legislature should not be given lifetime health care benefits. They say getting rid of politicians' lifetime benefits would save taxpayers $5 million.

State Senator Gretchen Whitmer says the measure would not make a significant dent in the budget deficit of almost $2 billion. But she says it's still an important symbolic gesture.

"Leading by example is something this Legislature has not done," she says. "Sacrificing public safety, but not sacrificing politician's purse is really, it's a crime."

The bill would not apply to retired lawmakers. A similar bill did not make it through the Legislature last year.

Senate Republicans are expected to unveil their plan that includes a cap on benefits for all public employees Tuesday afternoon.