The Michigan Legislature last week approved a bill to require public employees to contribute to their health care benefits.

The legislation targets all local and school district employees and most state employees.

The bill, now awaiting Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature, would cap public employers’ contribution toward employee health benefits at $5,500 for an individual, $11,000 for a couple, and $15,000 for a family plan. As an alternative, the two sides could share the costs at 80% to 20%.

Local governments that refuse to enact the caps could lose state money unless two-thirds of its governing body agrees to opt out, according to reports.

Opponents, like Sen. Coleman Young 2nd, D-Detroit, said the bill was “an act of big government to impose its will on small governments,” according to the Detroit News.

Snyder is reportedly negotiating with state unions to require state workers hired after April 1, 2010, to pay 20% of their health care benefits. The move would save $174 million, according to the Senate Fiscal Agency.

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