Last night on the Rachel Maddow Show where Rachel did a fine job outlining what’s going on in Michigan right now. Check it out:
Basically, GOP members of Congress in Michigan are pushing through legislation that would allow the governor to declare a financial emergency in any given town, village, city or township and immediately put that municipality under the rule of a “Emergency Financial Manager”. The EFM would be allowed to cancel, modify or rescind any contracts that municipality has, including with their unions. This rightfully has union members outraged.
There have been no less than three protests at the Michigan Capitol building since Governor Snyder put forth his budget and, more importantly, since GOP members of Congress in Michigan began their push for the Emergency Financial Manager legislation. Yesterday, there was another. Photos below are courtesy of my friend, fellow Kossack and union member, la58.
According to the Detroit Free Press, hundreds of union members flooded the Capitol grounds and occupied the Capitol Rotunda.
LANSING — It was a show of force rarely seen in Lansing as hundreds of union supporters filled the Capitol rotunda and halls Tuesday morning, chanting so loudly that some had to be gaveled to quiet down in the Senate chamber.
At issue is legislation to give state-appointed emergency financial managers more power to resolve fiscal crises, including dissolving employee contracts. Unionists call it an attack on collective bargaining.
Gov. Rick Snyder and other backers of the bills say they’re needed to deal with what could be a glut of insolvent cities and school districts hard hit by falling tax revenues and even Snyder’s own plans to cut their state aid.
The bills are expected to pass the GOP-controlled Legislature and could reach a vote today in the Senate.
The Lansing State Journal put the number at ‘more than 700’:
Wisconsin fever officially hit Michigan on Tuesday.
Echoing weeks of union-led protests inside Wisconsin’s Capitol building, more than 700 union members jammed into Michigan’s Capitol Rotunda in an effort to block what they view as anti-labor legislation.
Chanting “Kill the Bill!” and “Whose House? Our House!” protesters tried to pressure the Republican-controlled Senate to scrap legislation that would give broad new powers to emergency financial managers appointed by the state to run struggling cities and schools.
Union members have staged large outdoor rallies outside the Capitol in recent weeks, but Tuesday morning’s protest was the largest of any kind inside the building in recent years.
And finally, the Detroit News shows just exactly how cocky the Republicans have gotten:
“I don’t think it had an effect outside of the fact we had to talk a little bit louder today,” [Bill sponsor Sen. Phil Pavlov of St. Clair] said of the demonstration. “People are pretty lock-stepped on this issue (and) I didn’t expect it to sway any votes either way.”
This move is in addition to Governor Snyder’s budget which grants billions of dollars in tax credits to businesses and raises taxes on the elderly through taxing their pensions and on the poor through the elimination of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). 2010 Democratic Secretary of State candidate Jocelyn Benson is helping coordinate an effort to halt the repeal of the EITC at their website Save Our Earned Income Tax Credit.
From their website:
Some members of the Michigan Legislature are proposing to raise taxes on nearly 800,000 lower-income working families and their children by $330 million, while supporting a massive $1.5 billion tax cut for businesses. Under the proposal, 85 percent of Michigan’s 300,000 businesses will end up paying no taxes at all – regardless of how much they make, or how many state and local services they require.
These lawmakers want to pay for a business tax cut by eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit, which returns an average of $432 to families, most with children.
Michigan is joining together to oppose higher taxes on the working poor.
There is also a bill in Congress to make Michigan a “Right to Work” state, allowing workers to enjoy the benefits of union representation without being required to contribute to/support the unions.
These are certainly outrageous acts by both the GOP in Michigan and the Nerd Governor himself. The most frustrating thing is how many Democrats voted for Snyder. While Michigan is generally a blue state, Snyder, a man with literally NO EXPERIENCE IN GOVERNMENT received wide-spread support across the state by Democrats. Snyder is from Ann Arbor, the area where I live. An astounding number of so-called liberals in Ann Arbor split their ticket to vote for Snyder, a businessman who never lied about his intention to run the state like a business.
Now the chickens have come home to roost and the Republicans are doing exactly what so many of us who campaigned for Democrats last fall said they would do
I’d like to think this is a cautionary tale for 2012. I hope I’m right.
I’m just sayin’…