Introduced by Sen. Mark Jansen (R) on October 20, 2009, to give cities, villages townships and county governments the power to borrow without a vote of the people to pay for the health benefits that current and past officials have offered to government employees after they retire. A referendum on the debt would be required only if someone gathered signatures from 5 percent of local registered voters or 10,000, whichever is lower. The amount of debt imposed for these non-pension benefits for retired government employees could be as high as 5 percent of the jurisdiction's state equalized property value. Note: Under the current state constitution taxpayers are not required to pay these retiree health benefits, so the bill would essentially convert something optional into an enforceable obligation to repay bondholders.
Referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee on October 20, 2009.
Reported in the Senate on December 19, 2009, with the recommendation that the substitute (S-2) be adopted and that the bill then pass.