Senate eliminates health care benefits for future retired elected officials

LANSING – State Sen. Mike Nofs today joined with the majority of his Senate colleagues in voting to eliminate health care benefits for future elected officials.

"Voting to eliminate health care benefits for retired elected officials is an important reform measure as legislators work together to save taxpayer dollars and reduce the costs of state government," said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. "Our constituents have been forced to make cutbacks and we in state government should be no different during this time of economic struggle."

The vote is more than a symbolic gesture for Nofs. While today’s vote affects only legislators elected after Nov. 1, 2010, Nofs has twice voluntarily declined the retiree health benefits that he earned from serving in the state House and now in the state Senate.

House Bill 4194 would end retirement health care benefits for legislators elected on or after Nov. 1, 2010. Senate Bill 132 would apply the same timetable to eliminating the retirement health care benefits for elected state officials. Officeholders subject to this reform include the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges.

The legislation, which now goes to the state House for consideration, is the second set of initiatives to be approved from the 10-point Senate Republican reform package in an effort to achieve more than $2 billion in savings.