Emergency Manager Law — December 8, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Michigan Republicans to pass interim Emergency Manager law in case petition drive is successful – UPDATED


[Bumped due to update.]

MIRS News has this tantalizing snippet on their front page this morning:

The Gov. Rick Snyder administration is working with legislative leaders on a bill that would create an interim Emergency Manager (EM) law in case the state’s new EM statute, P.A. 4, is suspended through a potentially successful referendum process.”

UPDATE: The Detroit Free Press is now reporting on this:

State officials are working on legislation to replace the state’s emergency manager law, which could be suspended early next year as a result of a ballot initiative, Treasurer Andy Dillon said today.

“I think we’ll have a pretty confused situation if the law gets held in suspension,” Dillon said in a telephone interview with the Detroit Free Press.

Dillon said his office has sent a list of improvements he’d like to see to the emergency manager law, Public Act 4, and officials in the Legislature confirmed today they are working with the governor’s office on a possible replacement.

“We will continue to discuss this issue with the governor and our partners in the Senate and take appropriate action if and when necessary,” Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger said in a statement. […]

Dillon said one change he favors would “give the residents a little stronger voice in the process,” though he provided no specifics.

Stand Up For Democracy, a group working with Michigan Forward on the referendum petition drive, was blunt:

A spokesman for the ballot initiative group Stand up for Democracy said he was “astounded” by talk of a replacement law.

“Could you really be that out of touch with the people that you would create another law to stop them from being able to express their will?” asked Greg Bowens, who was press secretary to former Mayor Dennis Archer.

This is not at all unexpected. I have long suspected that they would not take any of the fights to rid the state of this anti-democratic, disenfranchising law laying down. You can be sure that this new legislation will have an appropriation in it to prevent another referendum.

What GOP lawmakers and the Governor don’t realize, it seems, is that passing an interim bill will be a kiss of death for their political future. They will be slitting their political throats by going against the will of so many Michiganders.

This news does show, however why the multi-pronged approach to killing this odious law is so important. In addition to Michigan Forward’s referendum petition drive to put the repeal of PA 4 on the November 2012 ballot, Sugar Law Center’s lawsuit challenging the state constitutionality of the law and the U.S. Attorney General’s investigation into the law’s disparate impact on minority populations in violation of the Voting Rights Act are all ongoing.

It may take several swords into the heart of the beast to kill it. But kill it we will.

By the way, be sure to have a listen to Michigan Forward Chairman & CEO Brandon Jessup on Michigan Radio from yesterday. It’s a great interview. Listen to it HERE.

H/T: Wavingcrosser