Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Steele: Raid of teacher retirement accounts will drive educators from Michigan
RELEASE|June 25, 2024
Contact: Donni Steele

State Rep. Donni Steele on Tuesday voted against a plan to raid teacher retirement accounts and divert the money to partisan pet projects. 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.

“There is no way to spin this embarrassing attempt to fund more unnecessary government spending on the backs of our teachers,” said Steele, R-Orion Township. “Rather than supporting our teachers and robustly funding their hard-earned retirement accounts, Democrats voted to strip those benefits. Many of these teachers taught thousands of kids over the course of decades, they deserve to be rewarded. Instead, now these same hard-working teachers are left questioning if their benefits will still be there when they need them.”

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.

Steele 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.

“Democrats blew through a historic budget last year on pet projects that only benefit cherry-picked locations,” Steele said. “Now, instead of realizing the error of their ways, they’re doubling down on radical spending levels. Democrats have an insatiable appetite for spending your tax dollars. Rather than cut spending, they’re gutting the teacher retirement system.”

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


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