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Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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2013 Senate Bill 542: Permit more generous government employee health benefits

Public Act 270 of 2013

  1. Introduced by Sen. Bruce Caswell (R) on September 25, 2013, to increase from $11,000 to $13,455 the “hard cap” on the amount that a local government or school district can spend for an "individual-plus-spouse" employee health care policy under a 2011 law limiting such benefits. The Senate Fiscal Agency reports this will increase state costs by $19.4 million annually; since there are seven-times more school and local employees than state employees the total cost to taxpayers could be much higher. The bill would also include “individual-plus-one nonspouse-dependent” coverage under $15,000 "family" policy cap, include elected officials in the base used to establish a local government’s “average” cost per employee, exclude payments to employees who take cash instead of insurance benefits, and revise some other details in ways that permit making the overall benefits more generous.
    • Referred to the Senate Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing Committee on September 25, 2013.
      • Reported in the Senate on October 3, 2013, with the recommendation that the bill pass.
    • Amendment offered in the Senate on October 8, 2013, to exclude from the cost-cap formula any payments the state, a school district or a local government must make under the federal health care law (Obamacare). This would have the effect of allowing more generous benefits than if these extra payments were included in the formula. The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on October 8, 2013.
  2. Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate on October 8, 2013.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the House on October 8, 2013.
    • Referred to the House Financial Liability Reform Committee on October 8, 2013.
      • Reported in the House on December 10, 2013, with the recommendation that the substitute (H-1) be adopted and that the bill then pass.
    • Substitute offered in the House on December 10, 2013, to adopt a version of the bill that increases the cap on spending by a smaller amount. The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on December 10, 2013.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Earl Poleski (R) on December 10, 2013, to clarify the construction of the bill. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on December 10, 2013.
  4. Passed 108 to 1 in the House on December 11, 2013, to increase from $11,000 to $12,250 the “hard cap” on the amount that a local government or school district can spend for an "individual-plus-spouse" employee health care policy under a 2011 law limiting such benefits.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  5. Received in the Senate on December 11, 2013.
  6. Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate on December 11, 2013, to concur with the House-passed version of the bill.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  7. Signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on December 22, 2013.

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