Emergency Financial Manager Bill Passes Michigan Senate

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With over 1,000 union members and supporters on the lawn, and hundreds packing the Capitol dome chanting “kill the bill,” the Republican controlled state Senate in Michigan passed the controversial “Emergency Financial Managers” Bill 153.  The bill is expected to be signed into law by Republican Governor Rick Snyder after a conference committee reconciles the differences in each bodies version of the bill.

The Emergency Financial Manager Bill would allow the State Treasurer to determine the existence of a local governments financial crisis and then the Governor would appoint a financial reviewing team and the appointed Emergency Manager would have the power to: renegotiate or terminate the terms of an existing collective bargaining contract, disincorporate or dissolve municipal governments, consolidate municipalities, reorganize school districts and change academic plans, strip local governing bodies of any powers of office, recommend local governments to file for bankruptcy, exempt governing members from running for office for six years, and exempt local government from collective bargaining requirements for five years or until termination of the emergency state.

The Legislature could only remove an Emergency Manager with a two-thirds vote from each house.  This bill will strip collective bargaining rights, reduce transparency of Government and allow for dramatic changes without the consent of the citizenry or their elected officials.  Critics argue that the deep cuts in school funding and revenue sharing proposed by Gov. Snyder and Republican legislators could push many cities over the brink into bankruptcy, dramatically increasing the number of cities under control of the state-appointed emergency managers that will have unprecedented and many argue unconstitutional powers.

Title: Emergency Financial Manager bill on the verge of passage despite union protests on Tuesday
Source: The Michigan Messenger 3/9/2011
Author: Todd A. Heywood
URL:  HYPERLINK http://michiganmessenger.com/47158/emergency-financial-manager-bill-on-the-verge-of-passage

Title: Financial Manager bill passes Michigan Senate: Lawmakers crafting final version; Snyder’s approval expected
Source: The Detroit News 3/10/2011
Author: Karen Bouffard
HYPERLINK  URL:http://www.detnews.com/article/20110310/POLITICS02/103100375/1022/local/Financial-manager-bill-passes-Michigan-Senate

Title: S.B. 153 (S-2)-158: Summary as Reported From Committee
Source: Senate Fiscal Agency, Michigan 2/25/2011
URL:  HYPERLINK  http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billanalysis/Senate/pdf/2011-SFA-0153-A.pdf

Student Researcher:   Amy Ortiz, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Cynthia Boaz, Sonoma State University