Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Congressman passes on pension increase

April 2, 2001

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers will forgo nearly an additional $10,000 a year in his pension by changing his date of resignation from the state Senate.

The Brighton Republican, who had originally resigned Jan. 3 - his first day as a congressman - changed that resignation date to Dec. 31. The move makes Rogers ineligible to benefit from a pay raise for members of this year’s state Legislature.

The Michigan Democratic Party estimated Rogers stood to gain about $700,000 in pension money by the time he was 85.

But state GOP spokesman Sage Eastman said Rogers was following previous precedent.

“From what I know, every other senator that has taken another job or moves to a higher office resigns on the first day of his new job,” he said.

Eastman said the resignation will have no effect on a possible re-election bid for Rogers - whose term expires in two years - but is negative for Michigan voters.

“This is the kind of partisanship that frustrates voters,” he said. “They want to see a fair and open debate.”

State Democratic Party spokesman Dennis Denno said Rogers’ move was in response to a press conference held by the party Thursday that made light of the issue. Denno maintained that, despite the change in dates, the issue could impact his next campaign.

“He wrote a letter to the secretary of the Senate to change his resignation date,” Denno said. “Now he should take the time to send a letter of apology to the people of Michigan.”

In a written statement, Rogers said he didn’t delay his resignation for financial gain.

“I will not allow the issue of my date of resignation to get in the way of the people’s faith in the process or their elected representatives,” he said.

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