Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Greene stands up for Michigan teachers, opposes budget that raids teacher retirement fund
RELEASE|May 9, 2024
Contact: Jaime Greene

As people across Michigan celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, state Rep. Jaime Greene voiced support for teachers and opposition to a state budget proposal that raids their retirement fund.

Budget proposals from Lansing Democrats would take up to $670 million that’s supposed to be set aside to ensure teachers receive the retirement benefits they have been promised, and instead use it to bankroll their own priorities. The budget bill came up for a vote in the House on Wednesday.

“It’s appalling that Lansing Democrats would ever consider raiding the retirement funds of our hardworking educators – let alone cast their vote to greenlight the raid during Teacher Appreciation Week,” said Greene, R-Richmond. “The teacher retirement fund is there as a promise to our teachers for their years of service and dedication – not to serve as a piggy bank for politicians to dip into whenever they see fit.”

While the portion of the teachers’ retirement system dedicated to other post-employment benefits for retirees, like health care, recently became fully funded, the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) is still about $24.4 billion in debt.

Earlier this year, Gov. Whitmer announced plans to reduce payments into the teacher retirement system by $670 million, diverting the money to other projects in her budget proposal.

Greene said the governor’s plan is risky. Economists show that if the teachers’ retirement fund doesn’t get this deposit there’s a 50% chance it underperforms and leaves teachers’ retirements underfunded.

Still, Democrats in the House and Senate have followed the same path as the governor – pushing budgets that shift hundreds of millions of dollars away from the retirement system.

“Let’s call this what it is: a betrayal of trust to every teacher who selflessly pours their heart into our classrooms,” Greene said. “We must prioritize the needs of our educators and reject any attempt to pillage the funds set aside for our retirees.”


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