Michigan Taxpayers Could End Up Paying To Help Detroit - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Michigan Taxpayers Could End Up Paying To Help Detroit

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - Michigan taxpayers will pay close to $200 million to help retirees in Detroit under a bill that cleared the Michigan House Thursday.

We asked 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick to find out how lawmakers voted.

Detroit Mayor Duggan, with his city in bankruptcy, lobbied lawmakers this week for that $195 million in state aid to protect his retirees and he got plenty of help from Lansing area democrats and republicans.

After a house committee approved the bill this week, it was time for a house vote as one of the sponsors of the bill continued to explain why all taxpayers should help the motor city.

This republican is telling his taxpayers, his yes vote will actually save them money.

“With this settlement each taxpayer in the state of Michigan will pay $19.50. If we do nothing, the best case scenario is that it will cost each taxpayer $30 and it could cost us $350. This is about protecting taxpayers in my district,” said State Representative Rom Leonard (r), Lansing.

This lawmaker says borrowing costs across the state would skyrocket if Detroit does not get out of bankruptcy.

“The Detroit bankruptcy will impact how we can borrow money from the markets, how the state can borrow money from markets. We have to deal with the situation for us to have a solid ground for all of our borrowing purposes for communities across the state,” said State Representative Sam Singh, (d), East Lansing.

This democrat struggled with his yes vote because it takes $17 million a year out of the state budget that could go to other vital services.

“I languished over this quite a bit. The question is, especially for me in the Lansing area, does getting Detroit out of bankruptcy help out the rest of the state especially my area and the answer at the end of the day is yes,” said State Representative Andy Schor (d), Lansing.

This Jackson republican served on the committee that wrote the 11 bill package. He predicts the cost for the entire state would also go up without this deal.

“The exposure of the whole state to a lot more money over a long bankruptcy war very real,” said State Representative Earl Poleski, (r), Jackson.

This Mason democrat, Representative Tom Cochran, declined to be interviewed prior to the vote. He was obviously struggling with it and had not made up his mind before the vote was taken.

But now with the house saying yes, the measure moves to the state senate. The governor wants this done by the middle of June to help Detroit and the rest of the state.
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