Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Michigan Legislature Grants Governor Dictatorial Power

The Michigan Senate passed legislation today allowing government-appointed emergency finance managers with no salary restriction, and no guidelines for behavior, to take over municipal government and school districts in financially distressed cities and towns. This bill mimics the House bill passed in February. With budget cuts across the state, reduced tax base due to unemployment, dismal sales figures, and corporate desertion, there is no municipality in Michigan that is entirely solvent. Emergency finance managers will have absolute power to repeal union contracts, reverse local ordinances, dissolve school boards and city councils. Finance managers will be given power over curriculum and staff in school districts. When an amendment was introduced to cap the finance managers' salary at the wage allowed Governor Snyder ($177,000), the Republicans turned it down, with Lt. Gov. Calley casting the tie-breaking vote. The cuts being made in school funding and revenue sharing will push many cities into bankruptcy, neatly creating plum targets to appoint more dictators. This is a hostile takeover of the State of Michigan. Any bets on whether Governor Snyder will sign this travesty?

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