Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Markkanen: Teachers left behind by radical Democrat spending
RELEASE|June 26, 2024

State Rep. Greg Markkanen on Tuesday slammed radical Democrats for voting to gut the teacher retirement system and redirect funding elsewhere in state government. HB 5803, which passed the House along party lines, strips more than $670 million away from the Michigan public schools teachers’ retirement fund (MPSERS), which remains underfunded by more than $34 billion.

“I worked alongside talented and committed educators who dutifully educated future generations for decades,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “The state promised a robust retirement account educators could rely on when they leave their classrooms for the final time. Democrats just threw that promise in the garbage.”

Responsible budgeting by past Republican administrations resulted in the Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) system nearing 100 percent funding. However, MPSERS, the other half of the teacher retirement system, remains drastically underfunded by over 34 billion dollars.

Markkanen noted that state government should be working to pay down its long-term debts – not create more. The upcoming state budget is expected to cost more than $80 billion, meaning Democrats are clamoring for new ways to fund tens of billions of dollars in new spending.

“Our community is filled with former teachers who retired to the U.P. with the knowledge they had state retirement accounts that would support them for the rest of their lives,” Markkanen said. “This devastating vote betrays every single former teacher in my community and across the state. They did their work, and they deserve their benefits. Today, Democrats proved they care more about political points than the financial security of educators.”

The plan now moves on to the Senate for further consideration.


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