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Snyder drafts new bill to replace repealed emergency manager law

8:58 PM, Dec 5, 2012   |    comments
Gov. Rick Snyder - from Detroit Free Press
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LANSING, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) -- The administration of Gov. Rick Snyder has drafted a new emergency manager law they hope will replace Public Act 4 of 2011, which was rejected by voters on Nov. 6.

The bill will be discussed Thursday morning in the House Local Intergovernmental and Regional Affairs committee and could be taken up by the full House as soon as Thursday afternoon.

Called the Local Financial Stability and Choice Act, the bill is designed to address shortcomings in PA 4 by giving local officials in financially troubled cities and school district more input in decision-making.

In a statement released Wednesday by state Treasurer Andy Dillon's office, "PA 72 does not provide all of the tools that are necessary to address financial emergencies in Michigan municipalities and school districts. Governor Snyder feels strongly that he has a responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our residents and children."

Provisions include:

• Providing for greater input by local officials before a financial emergency is declared by the governor. Financial review teams would be required to hold at least one public meeting before making a decision.

• Giving local officials a choice among four options if a financial emergency is declared: a consent agreement; mediation; an emergency manager; or Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

• Giving local officials more power to approve certain actions by an emergency manager or come up with alternative solutions that provide equal cost savings.

• Paying the salaries of emergency managers, and costs associated with a financial review, eliminating a current sore point for cities and school districts, which now have to pick up those costs.

• Providing for the removal of an emergency manager if two-thirds of the local unit of government votes in favor of removal.

By Paul Egan and Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press Staff Writers

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