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Author Topic: Suspension of Democracy in Michigan  (Read 613 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

Suspension of Democracy in Michigan
« on: March 11, 2011, 05:17:36 AM »
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billengrossed/House/pdf/2011-HEBS-4214.pdf

Quote from: Page 23
(e) The emergency manager's compensation and reimbursement for
actual and necessary expenses shall be paid by the local government
and shall be set forth in a contract approved by the state
treasurer. The contract shall be posted on the department of
treasury's website within 7 days after the contract is approved by
the state treasurer.

Republicans rejected an amendment requiring that the emergency manager's pay be limited to less than the governor's pay.

Quote from: Page 25
(2) If an order of the emergency manager under subsection (1) 
is not reasonably carried out and the failure to carry out an order
is disrupting the emergency manager's ability to manage the local
government, the emergency manager, in addition to other remedies
provided in this act, may prohibit the local elected or appointed 
official or employee, agent, or contractor of the local government
from access to the local government's office facilities, electronic 
mail, and internal information systems.

...almost all of section 19 (begins on Page 27) is a doozy. The emergency manager gains control over the local government's finances, and the power to terminate contract agreements. Collective bargaining agreements are specifically singled out as being lawful to terminate.

Quote from: Page 31
(o) Employ or contract for, at the expense of the local
 government and with the approval of the state financial authority,
auditors and other technical personnel considered necessary to
implement this act.

Or drive the town further into debt if they want.

Quote from: Page 34
(bb) For a city, village, or township, the emergency manager
may recommend to the state boundary commission that the municipal
government consolidate with 1 or more other municipal governments,
if the emergency manager determines that consolidation would
materially alleviate the financial emergency of the municipal
government and would not materially and adversely affect the
financial situation of the government or governments with which the
municipal government in receivership is consolidated. Consolidation
under this subdivision shall proceed as provided by law.

...shouldn't consolidation be first proposed to voters, and -then- go to more drastic measures if necessary?

Quote
(cc) For municipal governments, with approval of the governor,
disincorporate or dissolve the municipal government and assign its
assets, debts, and liabilities as provided by law.

I have to question whether this is even constitutional. "We'll just assign your town to this corporation, here." ...

Quote from: Page 45
(2) Failure of a local government official to abide by this
act shall be considered gross neglect of duty, which the review
team or emergency manager may report to the state financial
authority and the attorney general. Following review and a hearing
with a local government elected official, the state financial
authority may recommend to the governor that the governor remove
the elected official from office. If the governor removes the
elected official from office, the resulting vacancy in office shall
be filled as prescribed by law.

Note that the emergency manager is given the power to appoint positions, though it does not seem to specifically say that elected positions are appointable. It will be interesting to see if a Mayor gets removed from office and subsequently reelected.

Articles here:
http://michiganmessenger.com/47203/emergency-managers-bill-sweeps-toward-final-approval
http://michiganmessenger.com/47013/bill-offers-no-guidelines-for-use-of-emergency-managers-powers

And the url is right - there isn't. Expenditures of greater than $5,000 need to be reported, as do salaries - but the emergency managers are not accountable to the people they are managing.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Suspension of Democracy in Michigan
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 07:00:43 AM »
The legality of this is bound in that states constitution the High Court would have the final say in this. But they voted in the Republicans and not even moderate ones but far right leaning ones what did people think was going to happen?

Can the opposition with a decent minority position stall this at all or put up roadblocks I would thing if the have 40% Democrats they couldn't just ram this through, what is the makeup of seats in this case anyone know?

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: Suspension of Democracy in Michigan
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 05:30:02 PM »
Sounds like Prince John appointing a lord to a county.