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Mich. Senate committee weighs police, fire changes



Michigan's local government leaders want changes to the state's labor contract arbitration laws in hopes of saving police and fire department jobs.

Michigan Municipal League representatives told the Senate Reforms and Restructuring Committee on Wednesday that a community's ability to pay should be a key factor guiding arbitrators' binding decisions in contract disputes. They say some cities have faced arbitration decisions they can't afford and the ripple effect leads to public safety layoffs.

Michigan has lost more than 4,000 police officers and firefighters in the past decade, mostly because of falling property tax revenues and reductions in state tax revenue sharing.

The committee is working on legislation related to police and fire services.

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