Proos: lawmakers should lead by example, pay 20 percent of health insurance cost

LANSING — Senate Republicans introduced legislation in last week that would require all senators and state representatives to pay 20 percent of their health insurance cost, said Sen. John Proos, who supports the measure.

Michigan is facing a $1.8 billion budget shortfall this year. To help bridge this gap and fix our long-term structural deficit, Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed a budget that includes having state, school and local government workers pay 20 percent of their health insurance cost.

“Solving our budget problems will require shared sacrifice, and legislators should lead the way,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph.  “My colleagues and I should set an example by paying 20 percent of our health insurance before we ask a teacher or state worker to make that sacrifice.”

Proos noted that requiring school and state employees to contribute 20 percent toward their health care could result in more than $380 million in savings.

“While applying that 20 percent level to Michigan’s 148 lawmakers will only achieve modest savings in comparison, I believe each of us must do our part to put the state back on track,” Proos said. “In the past, I have voted to cut my pay by 10 percent.  We must all tighten our belts, and this is the next step in reducing the cost of government.”

Senate Bill 304 has been referred to the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee for consideration.