On all bankrupt cities, counties, towns and locals, fire employees, boards and officials as well as break all contracts so as to return these to financial solvency
This too is excellent news that should make hearts rejoice.
The measure passed in the state Senate this week; the House passed its own version earlier. The two versions of the bill are expected to be reconciled next week, and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has said he will sign the bill the bill into law.
Democrats and their allies are decrying the legislation as a power grab and say it's part of a wider effort taking place in several states, such as Wisconsin, to weaken labor unions.
"It takes every decision in a city or school district and puts it in the hands of the manager, from when the streets get plowed to who plows them and how much they are paid," said Mark Gaffney, president of the Michigan State AFL-CIO. "This is a takeover by the right wing and it's an assault on democracy like I've never seen."
U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat who represents
He said the legislation raises "serious constitutional concerns." On top of that, he said, allowing an "emergency manager" to dissolve locally elected bodies "implicitly targets minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by the economic downturn, without providing meaningful support for improved economic opportunity."
Republican state Sen. Jack Brandenburg said several urban areas of the
The emergency manager, he said, "has to have the backbone, he has to
have the power, to null and void a contract." In response to concerns that
local leaders will have to cede control,
An emergency manager would only be put in place if several other steps to save a city's finances failed, and Snyder has said in recent weeks that removing elected officials or breaking contracts would be a last resort for an emergency manager. In addition, the legislature would have the power to remove an emergency manager.
As the "emergency manager" bill nears final passage, state lawmakers are also considering Snyder's proposed budget, which would cut spending on schools, universities, prisons and communities, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Snyder has also proposed eliminating $1.7 billion in tax breaks for individuals while cutting $1.8 billion in taxes for businesses to spur job growth. Much of the $1.7 billion in new tax revenue would be "coming from retirees, senior citizens and the working poor," the Free Press wrote in an editorial.