LANSING — A spokesman for Gov. Rick Snyder says his administration will appeal the ordered return of more than $550 million to Michigan school employees, despite Attorney General Bill Schuette’s refusal to provide state attorneys to fight the case.
“These payments are necessary for the long-term financial stability of the retirement system teachers rely on for health care benefits after their years of hard work come to a close,” Snyder spokeswoman Anna Heaton said Tuesday. “Keeping the money in the system will help their investments continue to grow and benefit Michigan educators for decades to come.”
David Hecker, Michigan president of the American Federation of Teachers, denounced Snyder’s decision as “appalling,” and “disrespectful to the women and men who dedicate their lives to educating our children.”
Heaton’s statement on behalf of the governor same shortly after Schuette issued a statement Tuesday saying his lawyers won’t be involved if Snyder appeals a ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals that says the money was unlawfully taken through required 3% deductions from the pay checks of Michigan teachers and other school employees.
“The Attorney General is declining to provide counsel if the Governor wishes to appeal the 3% MPSERS (Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System) ruling,” Schuette spokeswoman Andrea Bitely said.
Instead, “the Department of Attorney General will provide an appointment for a Special Assistant Attorney General,” hired from outside Schuette’s office, she said.
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