Finalizing budget hinges on state employee retirement

Lansing, MI – A proposal to save money by requiring state employees to contribute more to their retirement plan may prove to be controversial in a budget deal at the state Capitol.

Governor Granholm and legislative leaders agreed to the retirement plan. They told lawmakers if they did not approve the proposal it would mean deep cuts to local governments.

Ray Holman is with UAW local 6000, which represents many state employees. He says it's not fair to make lawmakers choose one or the other.

He says, "There's other things the state can do to come up with $60 million. We're talking about a $44 billion budget, and to bring it down to pitting two groups against each other who provide services that literally keep people alive, is not the way to go."

Holman says state workers have made enough concessions over the years. Legislative leaders say they are optimistic that work on the budget will be complete before October, though it seems unlikely it will be done this week.