AUDIO: Father of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law Al Pscholka convinced Rick Snyder is beloved in Detroit
Michigan GOP effort to stop raising minimum wage proves democracy is only for the rich & well-connected, not you
As I have written about before, Republicans are petrified of a drive to put raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour on the ballot in November. It’s such a winning issue for Democrats that Republicans know that they simply must kill it or risk losing big on election day as more Democrats than usual turn out to vote in the midterm election.
The first effort to kill it came from Senator Rick Jones who introduced legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $8.15 an hour for average workers and a mere ten cents an hour for waiters and waitresses.…
House Republicans move the goalposts on helping solve Detroit’s financial crisis by extorting labor unions
Oh, that’s rich
Michigan House Republicans are in a tight spot. With concessions made by every party swept up in Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy and a deal in place that mostly preserves retiree pensions and the Detroit Institute of Arts’ priceless art collection, the only hurdle remaining is the state ponying up $350 million. Given how much money they’ve essentially stolen from the city by withholding promised revenue sharing, it’s a small price to pay. The state cannot take over cities with Emergency Managers and then tell them they are on their own, much as they would love to do just that.…
Muskegon Heights schools still financially insolvent despite Emergency Manager’s outsourcing to for-profit charter
Wait, Emergency Managers were supposed to solve these problems weren’t they???
In what can only be seen as an embarrassing repudiation of the Republican idea that Emergency Managers are capable of “fixing” financially-struggling schools, the Muskegon Heights schools system has had to borrow nearly a quarter million dollars from the state in order to make payroll. This was after Emergency Manager Gregory Weatherspoon turned the school system entirely over to Mosaica Education, Inc., a for-profit charter school corporation — or as Mosaica likes to call itself, a for-profit education management organization — a year and half ago.
Lansing, we have a problem
The amped-up Emergency Manager laws passed by Michigan Republicans in 2011 and again in 2012 were specifically designed to give far more sweeping powers to the one unelected potentate who assumes control of the school district or municipality. The sweeping away of local elected officials and the snuffing out of local democracy was needed, said the proponents, because the elected leaders were simply incapable of doing the job properly themselves. In fact, the unspoken implication is the local communities deserved to lose their democracy since they voted for such inept leaders in the first place.
The bedrock presumption in all of this is that the state is completely capable of stepping in and handling the affairs of the local municipality or of the school district.…
The EAA isn’t the only experiment being conducted on Detroit children
In all of the sturm und drang over Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s Educational Achievement Authority experiment with Detroit children, it’s easy to forget about the other experiment they are part of: state control of the Detroit Public Schools by an Emergency Manager. I’ve written reams on this topic but not much recently given that the EAA has sucked so much oxygen out of the room.
However, I haven’t forgotten about this and neither has my friend Dr. Thomas Pedroni, Director of the Leonard Kaplan Education Center for Critical Urban Studies and Associate Professor for Curriculum Studies at Wayne State University.…
Republicans Denby and Rogers still trying to keep their white communities away from an Emergency Manager
A year and a half ago, I wrote a rather lengthy piece titled “Majority white communities avoid Emergency Financial managers with help from Republicans Denby and Rogers”. In it, I told the rather convoluted story of how now-State Representatives Cindy Denby and Bill Rogers had, during their time as local government officials, gotten their municipalities and county into severe debt when the housing market crashed. Bad decisions by them resulted in Handy Township where Denby was the Supervisor and Livingston County where Rogers was a Commissioner facing severe financial crises over special assessment districts that were created, paid for, and which then fell apart as developers abandoned the projects.…
BREAKING: Federal court allows legal challenge to constitutionality of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law to proceed
Another win for the good guys…
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan today granted a motion to reopen the lawsuit filed by the Sugar Law Center and others against Michigan officials challenging the constitutionality of Public Act 436, Michigan’s undemocratic Emergency Manager Law. From their press release:
Gov. Snyder breaks his own record. Now TWENTY schools & cities are in financial crisis in his “Turnaround state”.
Time to update my chart…
Back in December, I took a look at how many cities and schools were in financial crisis under Governor Rick Snyder compared with his predecessors. The results were pretty shocking:
Under John Engler, there were 3 cities (Flint, Hamtramck, and Highland Park).
Under Jennifer Granholm there were 5 cities (Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Highland Park, Pontiac, and Three Oaks Village) and one school district (Detroit Public Schools).…
Judge Steven Rhodes: Legal challenge to Michigan’s Emergency Manager law can continue but Detroit EM Kevyn Orr is safe
Let’s find out if it is, indeed, a legal law
Federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes determined today that a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Michigan’s anti-democratic Emergency Manager law – Public Act 436 – can move forward. The case is being handled in another federal court.
In his ruling (pdf) denying a request to stay the case, Judge Rhodes said:
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