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Attorney general won't represent governor in pension case

Attorney General Bill Schuette
Courtesy of Bill Schuette
Attorney General Bill Schuette

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says it will be up to Governor Rick Snyder to hire his own attorney if the administration pursues an appeal of a court decision. It says the state owes roughly $550 million dollars to teachers for illegally withholding 3% of their paychecks to fund retirement health benefits.


Schuette’s spokeswoman, Andrea Bitely, says the attorney general doesn’t think the state can win the case. 

“In this case, we’ve not only reviewed the ruling, but we’ve also spoken with many teachers and heard from many teachers across Michigan, and it just didn’t make sense to continue the appeals process through our office at this point,” Bitely said.

But the governor’s office says the state needs that money.

“It’s about the stability of the system,” said the governor’s press secretary, Anna Heaton. “Michigan has a pattern of having unfunded liabilities, so this is a liability that’s going to be funded.” 

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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