Jansen supports much needed reforms Dear Editor, The Legislature recently approved reforms that will provide schools and local governments with the necessary tools to address the rising cost of benefits and keep education dollars in the classroom. Senate Bill 7, which I sponsored, limits the amount a public employer can spend toward health care unless employees increase their contribution. The measure caps public employer contributions to employee health care costs at a fixed dollar amount, or it divides the costs so employees contribute 20 percent of the costs. The legislation will save an estimated $500 million in benefit costs for school district, local government, and community college employees. This change is long overdue. Private-sector employees in the Midwest are responsible for an average of 21 percent of their health care benefits for single coverage and 30 percent for family coverage, while public employees’ share in the Midwest is on average only 10 percent of the cost for single coverage and 15 percent for families. Taxpayers burdened with high unemployment, lower personal income and falling home prices shouldn’t be paying more to maintain public employees’ benefits. This legislation will help us stretch our tax dollars. It is also important to note that the money saved by local units of government stays within that government entity. This could be used to hire more police officers or pay for more local services. The money saved by local school districts remains in that district and could be used to put more teachers in the classroom. This is the best benefit of all. Mark C. Jansen State Senator 28th District
Senator Mark Jansen
The Rockford Chamber of Commerce (RCC) is pleased to announce the first installment of its popular Bi-Monthly Luncheon Series for 2011. The luncheon is scheduled from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7 at the American Legion Post 102, located at 330 Rockford Park Drive (on the northwest corner of Northland Drive). The event will feature the culinary delights of new chamber member, Twisted Vine. The luncheon will be highlighted by Senator Mark Jansen of Michigan’s 28th District. Senator Jansen has devoted his career to politics, including two terms in the Michigan House of Representatives prior to being elected senator. Before his tenure in the Michigan House, Senator Jansen was elected as the Gaines Township clerk from 1992 to 1996. During his presentation, Senator Jansen will explore Michigan’s economic future. Please register by Thursday, Feb. 3 by contacting the RCC at (616) 866-2000 or e-mail Jeannie at firstname.lastname@example.org with your reservation. The luncheons are open to everyone, so RCC members please invite a friend. Cost is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. If you are unable to attend the luncheon and have registered, please contact the RCC prior to the luncheon to avoid being charged. Be sure to attend this timely luncheon and learn what the Michigan Senate plans to do to help with an economic turn for our state.