Wis. budget panel target police, fire benefits - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wis. budget panel target police, fire benefits

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Newly hired police and firefighters would be forced to pay more for their health insurance and pension benefits under changes expected to be added to the state budget.

Co-chairs of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee say the Republican-controlled panel on Thursday will approve changes that will force any newly hired police officers or firefighters to pay 5 percent of their pension benefits and 12 percent of their health care costs.

That is the same as what all other public workers would be forced to pay under a bill passed earlier this year that also took away nearly all collective bargaining rights. Police and firefighters were exempt.

Rep. Robin Vos says police and firefighters would retain their bargaining rights, but new hires would have to pay more for their benefits.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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