Michigan has new EM law weeks after voters rejected PA 4 - KMSP-TV

Michigan has new emergency manager law weeks after voters rejected PA 4

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By Maurielle Lue
Fox 2 News

DETROIT (WJBK) -- "The emergency management law is just as cold as it is out here today," Charles Williams from the National Action Network Michigan said on Thursday. "You cannot overturn a law and then come back and make the same law all over again."

However, that's exactly what the National Action Network Michigan says the governor did. Thursday, Governor Rick Snyder signed a new emergency manager bill into law even though Public Act 4, the previous emergency manager law, was repealed by the voters just weeks ago.

Snyder says the new law gives options to municipalities and strapped school districts allowing them to choose between an emergency manager, a state run reform plan or bankruptcy, although the governor says that's not what he wants for Detroit.

"I would prefer not to. That would be normal human nature, but that's not to say if it's the right thing for the community, we'll do what's right," he told Tim Skubick during a WKAR-TV interview.

A team reviewing Detroit's finances will release their official report in mid-January. The new law takes effect in March and includes a $770,000 appropriation making this one repeal proof by Michigan voters.

"That was anti-democratic. They just rammed the stuff right past committee. No public thought. No public discussion. That's not right," Williams said.

National Action Network Michigan is just one of the organizations hoping to fight this all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court. They say the governor wants to balance the books on the backs of Michigan workers instead of bankers and bondholders.

"The state, they want to cut, cut, cut, cut and kill, but they don't want to bring any resources to the table, and that's not fair. That's not helpful, and that's not going to deliver the city out of the mess that it's in right now," said Williams.

However, Snyder says Detroit officials have had long enough to fix the city's problems and it's time to get the ball moving.

"I think a lot of it is relationships between mayor, city council and a history that, again, it's been difficult to get decisions," he told Skubick.

City Council was not in session Thursday and the mayor's office released no comment other than Mayor Bing is committed to working with council on a restructuring plan to move Detroit forward.

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