Lawmakers approve bills aimed at underfunded retiree benefits

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Michigan lawmakers have approved legislation aimed at underfunded municipal retirement plans, after deciding to abandon a contentious proposal for state intervention in communities that are unwilling or unable to resolve their liabilities.

New versions of the bills were passed early Thursday, capping a marathon session. Lawmakers will give a final OK to the legislation next week.

Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican legislative leaders agreed to changes after hitting resistance from police and firefighter unions, Democrats and many Republicans.

The bills now closely reflect recommendations from a task force and stop short of creating new emergency financial teams to possibly intervene in some municipalities with severely underfunded pension or retiree health care plans.

There would still be reporting requirements and some state involvement in guiding communities to shore up their systems.

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