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Senate approves controversial 80/20 legislation

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network

Most public employees would be required to pay at least 20 percent of their health benefit costs under a bill approved by the Republican-controlled Michigan Senate Wednesday. The measure was approved along a mostly party line vote.

Republican state Senator Mark Jansen sponsored the measure.

"Not all of us are all that excited all the time about doing these things," he explains. "In fact we know people that this impacts - in fact if you look in the mirror, it'll impact each one of you sitting here today. But we know it's the right thing to do - and I know that's very subjective."

The Senate also approved a constitutional amendment that would give the Legislature control over the benefits plans of university employees and state civil service employees. That plan is unlikely to clear the state House, where Republicans don't have the two-thirds majority needed to put the measure on the ballot.

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