The Michigan Capitol is shown at twilight Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009, in Lansing, Mich. Lawmakers continue work on budget bills that deal with a $2.8 billion shortfall before an Oct. 1 deadline. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
LANSING -- Proposals to require public employees in Michigan to pay at least 20 percent of their health insurance costs are advancing in the state Legislature.
A Republican-led Senate committee approved the measures Wednesday on party-line votes. Republican Sen. Mark Jansen of Kent County's Gaines Township says the measures could come up for votes on the Senate floor later this month.
The legislation would affect employees with the state, local governments, public school districts, public universities and other public employers.
Republicans say the measures are needed to help public employers control costs. Democrats say health care costs should be bargained in contracts.
Local units of government could exempt themselves from the act by a two-thirds vote of its governing body.