Today’s Detroit Free Press editorial “Snyder must uphold state’s constitutional protection of Detroit pensions” is direct and unflinching on Governor Snyder’s obligation as the state’s leader to protect the pensions of Detroit retirees as the city goes through bankruptcy.
I’d love to reprint the whole thing. It’s that good. Here’s an excerpt but, please, go and read the whole thing:
This is no trivial matter. If Snyder blows through a constitutional obligation — enshrined in the very document that gives him the authority to govern — or comes up with a cowardly way to avoid it, it would de-legitimize his authority as the state’s chief executive, and make him into the “dictator” his harshest critics already believe him to be.
Imagine the outrage if a governor simply chose to assign no meaning to other parts of the state Constitution — like the equal protection clause or free speech provisions. It wouldn’t be tolerated, and nor should any notion of ignoring the constitutional obligation to honor public pensions.
This is a test of Snyder’s leadership, a measure of his ability to win a potentially unpopular fix in order to fulfill a constitutional promise.
Here, he has to think bigger than party or special interest, bigger even than his own legacy.
He needs to think about the law of the land, and what damage he could do to us all if he tosses it aside.
Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr says “There is no cache of money at the state level that will help us address this unfunded pension obligation” but the Republicans managed to scrape together $450 million to build a new hockey arena in Detroit. At the same time they are capping state aid to Detroit at a paltry $5 million when the city is having to spend tens of millions of dollars in consultant fees and other expenses to go through the bankruptcy process.
Michigan had a budget surplus this year and Republican lawmakers are socking away money into a “rainy day fund” while it rains cats, dogs, and horses in the Motor City.
It’s time for Republicans in Lansing to get their head out of … the sand and do right by Detroit, especially its retirees.
Go read the entire op-ed HERE