GI police lawsuit against city goes to court
Grand Island's financial problems lead to court, as police ask a judge to restore benefits cut by the mayor in an effort to balance the budget.
On Friday, the case went before District Court Judge Teresa Luther in Hall County, with a hearing on a suit filed by the police union.
It started with Mayor Jeremy Jensen's decision to cut insurance benefits for spouses who can get insurance from their employers.
The mayor says it's not fair to the taxpayers, and says the city is saving $2 million.
Jensen says the cost cutting measure has allowed the city to keep jobs that otherwise would have been lost.
In their legal case, police say the mayor's decision was done without a public hearing or city council approval.
In the words of the lawsuit, officers "will be required to make serious family financial and health insurance coverage decisions."
The first hearing before Judge Luther brings no oral arguments, only written ones.
Police have until Halloween to submit their case; The city will respond two weeks later.
Then it's in the hands of the judge, as police ask for benefits to be restored. Coverage for spouses is set to end October 1.
The mayor was in court, and so was the head of the police union.
They're not commenting at this time.