GOP leaders halt talks with Snyder after pension dispute

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - (05/18/17) - Republican legislative leaders are halting budget talks with Gov. Rick Snyder's administration due to their dispute over switching new teachers away from a pension into a 401(k) retirement plan.

The Republican governor opposes closing a hybrid pension/401(k) plan to newly hired school employees.

The move late Thursday could put at risk a quick resolution of the next state budget, which Snyder and the GOP-led Legislature like to finish in early June.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and House Speaker Tom Leonard want to see progress on talks over closing the teacher retirement system before resuming budget negotiations. In a meeting Thursday, Snyder instead privately suggested other changes - such as health care changes and making the 401(k) plan more generous so teachers voluntarily take it instead of a pension.

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