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Posted on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 11:42 a.m.

Washtenaw County township exempts itself from state law on employee health benefits

By Paula Gardner

A new state law mandates that public employers can't pay more than 80 percent of employee health care costs - a law that Salem Township won't follow after officials voted to exempt it from the regulation, according to a report on Michigan Capitol Confidential.

The township voted 7-0 for the exemption “to allow us time to work on a complete benefits package for our employees,” Supervisor Robert Heyl said told reporter Tom Gantert.

Salem Township, located in the northeast corner of Washtenaw County, has a population of about 5,500.

Read the full report.



Sun, Jan 22, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

It is very legal if you are familiar with this law to exempt your municipality, Ann doing there best to be divisive and anti-union.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 7:51 a.m.

We can now do anything we want in Washtenaw County........we just have to be passionate about it and think we are "right".


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

The emf big brother is sure to get wind of this move. Actually caring about employees,for shame ,for shame.


Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

Caring for them at the expense of others is a little incongruous is it not?


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 1:50 a.m.

I congratulate Salem township, they I'm sure have been keeping there fiances in the black and did not need to throw there employees under the 80/20 bus that snyder came up with to help schools or municipalities that were in the RED. the perks of these local government jobs are the benefits. Private companies may have parties/bonuses/stock options/401k contributing/voucher discounts/etc. doesn't happen at the local government level. Your taxes go for a service.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.

Democracy seems to be a "self service" principle for our mostly democratic officials. I think the next step is an "Emergency Ethics Manager" or maybe the county just secedes from the state. Citizens should just refuse to pay our taxes to support these government entities that practice "self service" democracy.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

All they need to do is take more Canadian trash and life is good for them.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

"The average Michigan private-sector worker pays 21 percent of their health insurance, and the average federal employee in Michigan pays about 25 percent." So what this is saying is that federal workers actually pay MORE for the benefits they receive. What happened to the "generous" benefit packages for all the "lazy workers"? " no private-sector businesses would contemplate paying 100 percent of health care costs." Really? Are you sure about that? I can prove you are wrong on this one Mr McHugh. Care to debate this "fact" in public? If I am right, you and your right wing idiot tank disbands or better yet, you tell us all who funds you. Deal? ""Salem Township further believes that the determination of compensation and benefits for the township employees are most properly under the venue of township's elected representatives, and not the State of Michigan or its officials." Mr McHugh, tell us why you think YOU have a right to determine what happens in Salem Township more than people actually elected there. I am sure we will never hear another word from you regarding federal laws usurping "states rights" .

John Q

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

I didn't know that AAdotCom was pimping for the Mackinac Center. MC isn't an abjective news media outlet. It's biases should be noted as part of the article.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

Time for residents of Salem Township to recall these elected officials and kick them out of office pronto ! Let's guess here that these folks got elected by getting financial support for their campaigns from the unions ? If so another example or cronyism ! Go Green Go White

Fat Bill

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 11:01 p.m.

Or, congratulate them for finding a way to retain decent employees.

John Q

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:39 p.m.

You don't have a clue. There's no union employees in Salem Township, which you would know if you read the article, and the voters are very conservative.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

Michigan *Capitol* Confidential (note the spelling) is a publication of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The Center is a conservative right-wing "think tank" that operates as a tax-exempt non-profit organization. It does not reveal which people or corporations provide its $3 million annual donations.

Julie Baker

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:34 p.m.

@Epengar, thanks for pointing out our error. The spelling has been corrected.

Joe Kidd

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

I presume the state law allows local governments to do this if they wish. I do hope however that in doing so you exempt the state from bailing you out 20 to 30 years down the road if your compensation turns out to be a bad idea.

Martin Church

Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 6:11 p.m.

How can a township or the county exempt it self from state law. If they can do it, then I should be able to exempt myself from having to pay the county and city taxes. if they can do it, then we the citizens should be able to.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

I like this statement. But some private employers do pay their employees health insurance 100%, unbelievably. Jack McHugh, senior legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said no private-sector businesses would contemplate paying 100 percent of health care costs. "Does government exist to serve the people, or the other way around?" asked McHugh. "Township officials who vote for excessive benefits show they're confused about who really deserves their loyalty — taxpayers or government employees and their unions."


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 3:27 p.m.

Government employees are "the people" too.