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Posted: 02/20/13

Bruce officials consider
health care options

Observer Staff Writer
      Bruce officials will determine how to provide health care to its employees using state law as a guide.
       The township's preliminary budget shows no increases to salaries for employees and elected officials. However, the board is discussing whether to continue the 20 percent contribution employees provide for health care.
       According to Public Act 152, the township can either set a hard cap for how much the township contributes, split the costs 80/20 with employees or opt out of participating in the law. The board must vote on which option to choose.
       "That was what we thought would be state-mandated, that we would be short some state shared revenue if we didn't impose this," Clerk Susan Brockmann said. "It turns out they didn't short us, that we don't receive that particular type of state shared revenue anyway."
       Trustees Mark Falker and Paul Okoniewski said opting out would be a good break for the employees since they haven't received raises.
       Treasurer Deborah Obrecht said she didn't believe the 80/20 split was unreasonable when providing health care to employees.
       If the 80/20 split is approved, the township would save $15,000 in the 2013-14 budget year. Last year, the split saved about $18,000.

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