Michigan police, firefighters flood Lansing to protest proposed retiree benefit cuts

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LANSING (WJRT) (11/29/2017) - Hundreds of first responders congregated on the steps of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing to protest a bill that could eliminate their pensions and some of their retiree benefits.

Some state lawmakers in Lansing say the cuts are necessary to balance the state budget in the future.

Hundreds of first responders taking part in Wednesday's demonstration say the legislation would create a state oversight committee stripping control from local governments and would reduce their right to collective bargaining.

Earlier this year, Gov. Rick Snyder created a task force to address the unfunded pensions and health care liabilities in the state, which the group said totals about $17 billion.

Police officers and firefighters say the state shouldn't balance the budget on their backs.

The legislation that would reform the public service pension system likely will be introduced later this week.

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