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Even though they won today, the group hoping to repeal Michigan's emergency manager law could still face a legal challenge in the Michigan Supreme Court.
LANSING — A House Bill introduced Wednesday would effectively repeal Michigan’s emergency financial manager law. State Representative and Minority Assistant Floor Leader LaTanya Garrett (D-Detroit) says decision making needs to be returned to the people in the community. The current law allows the governor to appoint an emergency financial manager to have control of a local government’s finances when they believe a city is having financial difficulties.
Garrett, the 2nd Vice Chair of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, spoke out against Gov. The city of Highland Park was under the control of an emergency financial manager from 2000 to 2009 according to Garrett. If you vote “yes” on Proposal 1, you are voting to provide the legitimacy of “public approval” to PA 4 (the Emergency Manager Law), and it will be invoked in it’s entirety.
The purpose of Proposal 2 is to allow for an amendment to the Michigan Constitution which would make collective bargaining a right in Michigan. This proposal is backed by both unions and workers, and is essential to protect our jobs and standard of living.
If a majority of Michigan voters vote “yes” on Proposal 2, the ability to organize and collectively bargain will become a right in Michigan, something that lawmakers can not toss aside as they have done in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and yes, Michigan, as well as in many other states. The purpose of Proposal 3 is to create an amendment to the Michigan Constitution which would require Michigan’s public utility companies to obtain at least 25 percent of their electricity from clean and renewable energy sources by 2025. Current Michigan law requires that Michigan public utility companies obtain at least 10 percent of their electricity  from renewable sources.
Proponents of Proposal 3 cite the passage of the amendment as a significant boon to Michigan’s economy, that it would create more than 90,000 jobs, and reduce air pollution. A “YES” vote on Proposal 3 would amend the Michigan Constitution to require that 25% of electric energy be obtained from clean and renewable sources (solar, wind power, and so forth). Proposal 4 would also amend the Michigan Constitution to create security for Michigan home care workers, and thus preserve the right of Michigan citizens to remain in their homes rather than in a nursing home or other institution  if they so choose. Allow in-home care workers to bargain collectively with the Michigan Quality Home Care Council (MQHCC). Require MQHCC to provide training for in-home care workers, create a registry of workers who pass background checks, and provide financial services to patients to manage the cost of in-home care.
Preserve patients’ rights to hire in-home care workers who are not referred from the MQHCC registry who are bargaining unit members. Authorize the MQHCC to set minimum compensation standards and terms and conditions of employment. The anti-union forces are against Proposal 4 and include the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and Gov. Prop 5 is yet another proposed constitutional amendment which would essentially fulfill Grover Norquist’s “No New Taxes” pledge.
In simple terms it would mean that only 13 Michigan legislators could prevent any tax increase, even if 135 legislators vote for it. Proposal 5’s spot on the ballot was financed by billionaire Matty Maroun, and is backed by Grover Norquist, Mr. A “NO” vote by Michigan citizens would ensure that tax revenues could be raised as circumstances warrant. Last week Sugar Law Center filed a lawsuit on behalf of Michigan citizens seeking an injunction against Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law.
In an Ingham County court today, Michigan citizens filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law.
The law was enacted by Michigan’s Republican controlled legislature in April, and has caused a massive uproar with citizens seeking to recall legislators, Gov. The Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act allows the governor to appoint Emergency Managers to take over local units of government, fire elected officials, sell off or privatize community assets and even dissolve whole cities.
But in legal arguments filed in court this morning a group of 25 plaintiffs say the right of citizens to elect their local officials is guaranteed in the state Constitution and financial stress is not a legitimate ground for scrapping the democratic process. The complaint alleges that the law “violates the rights of local voters by attempting to delegate law-making power and the power to adopt local acts to unelected emergency mangers, by suspending the rights of local electors to establish charters and to elect local officials, and by imposing substantial new costs and expenses upon local municipalities without providing new revenue,” the group argues.

More disaster capitalism from Rick Snyder, this time targeting struggling public schools in Detroit. Posted on 20 June 2011 at 05:52 PM in Education, Michigan EFM Law, Michigan Emergency Manager Law, Michigan News, Michigan Politics, Republican-Strategy, Republicans, Republicans in Power, Rick Snyder, Roy S. Eight more Republicans have been targeted for recall in Michigan, including Al Pscholka, who represents the Benton Harbor area, and is the representative who originally sponsored the hated emergency financial manager bill. For a full list of lawmakers in Michigan whose constituents have begun recall efforts against them, go to Eclectablog (I had a little trouble deciphering his list). The Republicans currently targeted for recall all won fairly narrow victories last November, and all but one of them voted in favor of Public Act 4, the EFM law.
I’m short on time, and so I just grabbed Maddow’s latest vid (from last night), and I am presenting it with out much comment.
I will try to remember to grab the transcript for this segment when it gets posted, so check back if you’re interested. Of note, Rachel mentions that Rick Snyder will be the first governor since 1984 to act as Benton Harbor’s grand marshall in the city’s Grand Floral Parade (part of their Blossomtime Festival). While I’m talking about the parade, I should mention that a friend of mine is producing a documentary about the anti-democracy movement in Michigan, and he will be at the parade to document the tomatoes, and any other occurrences. Via Laura Conway, writing for Maddow Blog, I learned today that there is pushback from a reporter for the Kalamazoo Gazette regarding Maddow’s position on the events occurring in Benton Harbor. What's worse for Benton Harbor: A financial manager with dictatorial powers or an utterly dysfunctional city government?
As many differences as we have between us, I think that all Liberals-Progressives can agree on this: Republicans have run completely amuck. The question now is, could we have known this would happen, did Republicans who ran for state level offices tell us what they were planning?
Rachel Maddow called out Republicans for their utter hypocrisy, some might call it criminal hypocrisy, in promising smaller government to voters during campaigns, and then going for really BIG government, BIG Brother type government, once in office. Having been sick for the past few days, I missed hearing on Friday that Benton Harbor, Michigan had been “seized” by Republican Gov.
Supporters of a repeal of Public Act 4 wait outside The Michigan Court of Appeals who was hearing oral arguments challenging the validity of petitions to repeal Public Act 4.
Rick Snyder’s recent decision to reinstate an emergency financial manager in Highland Park and argues that the city’s financial distress is due to state underfunding revenue sharing and failed economic policies. Last year, the Michigan Department of Treasury began another review process and found that the city was in financial emergency. As you probably noted, the wording of the proposal is confusing (which is no doubt, intentional). The negative ads are being paid for by right wing anti-union sources, and I urge you strongly not to fall for their outright lies.
Continue the current exclusive representative of in-home care workers until modified in accordance with labor laws. This would, in effect, give lobbyists and others (such as billionaire Matty Maroun) reason to celebrate.
A “Yes” vote plays into the hands of Republicans such as Grover Norquist, and essentially prevents taxes from being raised when needed.
At that time, Thom Hartmann talked to John Philo, the lead attorney in the lawsuit, and the resulting interview is well worth watching if you’d like to become more informed re the state of democracy in Michigan.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s “Financial Managers” will face their first legal test – as the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice filed suit today arguing his “Financial Managers” law violates the state constitution.
Rick Snyder & Michigan GOP Engaging in Disaster Capitalism ~ Republican Governor Rick Snyder Signs Draconian Bill in to Law ~ Republican Gov. The correct term is now “Emergency Manager”, the qualifier, “financial”, having been removed.
From the Michigan Messenger: Under the new plan, the schools in the bottom five percent of the academic progress programs will be taken over by the state Department of Education. Although emergency financial managers will all technically have the power, the truth is that the EFMs serve at the will of Gov. Are Benton Harbor residents better served by 90 acres of parkland, or 68 acres and a new source of revenue for cash-strapped city coffers?

Mack apparently thinks (or was told to write by her corporate bosses) that both the governor, and his wealthy cronies behind the golf club, are doing Benton Harbor a favor. Rick Snyder under the authority of the much despised, un-democratic, unconstitutional, emergency financial manager law. Weatherspoon has laid off nearly all the district’s employees and developed a new charter school system to operate schools in the city. And they say the font on the petitions circulated by the group Stand Up for Democracy was too small. Earlier this year – Republican Governor Snyder passed a bill that allows him to take over any city in Michigan that’s struggling financially – fire all the local elected officials – and put in place a crony of his own personal choosing – what’s called a Financial Manager – to handle the city’s finances. It really shouldn’t have been there to begin with since the law granted such broad authority to the EM, not just financial authority. There, the schools will be overseen by a new board made up of Eastern Michigan University officials, appointments from the governor’s office, and Roberts. Roberts, a former GM executive, and currently the managing director and co-founding member of the private equity firm, Reliant Equity Investors.
Is it insensitive to build an upscale development in a downtrodden community, as Maddow suggests? It doesn't matter if they collected more than enough signatures from registered voters in Michigan, the petition's challengers say, the letter of the law must be followed. That Financial Manager has the power to do pretty much anything – from voiding union contracts – to cutting local government services – to even selling off huge chunks of the city like public parks and power plants to his buddies in private corporations at a fire-sale price.
The board will an 11-person board, with five of those members serving as an executive committee.
Annenberg Professor of Education Policy, Professor of Economics, and Director of the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the Gerald R. That said, I’ll try to do a better job of it as of now, and if I slack off, feel free to give me a friendly nudge.
When his opponent, Virg Bernero, the current mayor of Lansing, Michigan, cornered Snyder in a very public way, Snyder agreed to one debate which turned out to be complete and utter nonsense. But if you really want to go there, and yes Michigan, we've gone there, it's not that easy to determine font size these days. Check out the infographic above for some font-size forensics (the second slide shows the font size in question). He is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an Executive Committee Member of the National Poverty Center. Thanks to Dario Corsi, a graphic illustrator with Redhead Design Studio, for putting this together. Detroit Public Schools currently spends nearly half of its entire budget on bureaucracy and management, with $900 per student going simply to pay off debt.
Because the system will operate on a very lean administrative structure and not be required to payout funds toward debt reduction, it will ultimately seek to push 95 percent of all school funds to the classroom. Tickets will be available starting Monday, March 12 at the Michigan Union Ticket Office during regular business hours. Every staff member in the central office will be held responsible for supporting teachers in the classroom, and all employees will work under a “continuous improvement” model that allows staff to provide students with immediate help when they have fallen behind.
Staff will be able to access a multitude of cutting edge national and local resources to bring students up to speed, regularly monitoring their progress and continuing this loop until each student achieves at dramatically higher levels. Haywood of The Michigan Messenger is reporting that Joe Harris, the emergency financial manager of the city of Benton Harbor, Mich. As the school makes academic gains, the parent council will assume additional responsibilities for supporting its school. The bodies are prohibited under the act from taking any other action without the express authority of the Emergency Financial Manager, Joseph Harris. Uncommon to the other towns, the population of Benton Harbor is better than 80% black, and the town is very poor.

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