In Michigan
5:12 pm
Wed February 3, 2010

MI Senate panel discusses reforms

LANSING, MI –

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop says a Senate panel will decide this week which government reform proposals to tackle next. The panel continued debate Wednesday on a measure that would save the state money by reducing the amount of time allowed for labor disputes to be in arbitration. Union leaders and arbitrators testified against the measure. They say arbitration is a key element of collective bargaining.

Bishop says he thinks there is an answer that will make everyone happy.

"I believe, and I think the committee believes, that there's an opportunity for some beneficial outcome of this, and beneficial to continue the discussion rather than try and push something out of the committee," he says. "We will continue to work throughout the week and next week we'll meet again to see if we've reached a conclusion in our negotiation."

Bishop says the committee will also soon discuss the possible elimination of lifetime health benefits for future lawmakers. The House approved that measure Tuesday.