Governor Rick Snyder signs teacher benefits changes into law

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation requiring public school employees to pay more for their pensions and ending state-provided health coverage in retirement for new hires.

The overhaul of the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System was signed into law Tuesday by the Republican governor after the GOP-led Senate and House passed the legislation this year.

Officials say the measure cuts at least $15 billion from a $45 billion liability on the system. The reductions include a $130 million contribution by the state toward retirement costs.

Democratic lawmakers as well as many retired and current teachers argue the changes erode promises of pensions and health care coverage in retirement. Snyder says the measure eases a tremendous debt on school districts and taxpayers and ensures retirement benefits are funded.

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