Public Act 4 en Michigan Supreme Court upholds law empowering DPS emergency financial manager <p>Roy Roberts, the state-appointed emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, will keep his job after the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit attempting to remove him.</p><p>The Supreme Court refused to overturn an earlier decision by the Court of Appeals ruling that Roberts’ office remains in effect under Public Act 72—the state’s emergency financial manager law of 1990.</p><p>The lawsuit was brought by Robert Davis, a union activist and school board member in Highland Park.</p> Fri, 18 Jan 2013 20:59:28 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10847 at Michigan Supreme Court upholds law empowering DPS emergency financial manager State House approves emergency manager replacement bill <p>The state House has approved a measure that would replace the emergency manager law that voters rejected last month.</p><p>Supporters of the measure say it gives local governments and schools more choices than Public Act Four. That law was rejected by voters last month.</p><p>The options now would include coming to a consent agreement with the state, mediation, an emergency manager, or bankruptcy.</p><p>Republican state Representative Al Pscholka sponsored the original emergency manager law.</p><p>“It is a significant difference from Public Act 4, because it allows the local elected officials to have a choice,” Pscholka said.</p><p>Democratic state Representative David Nathan of Detroit said he doesn’t see a real difference between the proposal and the original law.</p><p>“I think that both of those – (Public Act) 4 and this legislation – is imposing its will on communities and not allowing the communities to be a part of the decision-making process to get them out of the struggles that they have,” Nathan said.</p><p>A provision in the bill would make the measure immune to a voter referendum, like the one that repealed the original emergency manager law.</p><p>The bill now goes to the state Senate, where a vote is likely Thursday. Thu, 13 Dec 2012 04:19:36 +0000 Jake Neher 10357 at State House approves emergency manager replacement bill New emergency manager law moves to House floor <p>A new emergency manager bill advances to the House floor after a partisan vote passed the legislation through the House Local, Intergovernmental and Regional Affairs Committee.</p><p>The Detroit Free Press <a href="">has more</a>:</p><blockquote><p>The 9-6 vote came after the bill was first introduced about 7 p.m. Wednesday, resulting in cries from opponents that the bill was being rushed through the legislative process despite voters soundly repealing an emergency manager law on Nov. 6.</p> Thu, 06 Dec 2012 17:51:07 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10245 at New emergency manager law moves to House floor 6 things to know about Proposal 1: Referendum on the emergency manager law <p>In November, Michigan voters will decide the fate of Public Act 4 of 2011 (PA 4)—the controversial emergency manager law.</p><p>PA 4 is the latest of three Michigan laws that define the state’s ability to appoint emergency managers to oversee financially distressed local governments.</p><p>Under the law, emergency managers have the power to modify and terminate existing contracts, and in some cases, collective bargaining agreements.</p><p>Since August 8, when the Board of Canvassers placed Proposal 1 on the ballot, PA 4 has been suspended while awaiting the statewide referendum.</p> Thu, 25 Oct 2012 19:03:25 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 9605 at 6 things to know about Proposal 1: Referendum on the emergency manager law Detroit officers win day in court, raise questions about future of city's consent agreement <p>Detroit police officers have won a day in court—and the temporary suspension of new contract terms that were set to go into effect in the coming week.</p><p>The case’s legal outcome could have major implications for Detroit’s consent agreement with the state.</p><p>Mayor Dave Bing imposed new contract terms on most city employees, including police, last month.</p><p>Those changes included a 10% pay cut, and throwing out old work rules—which led the department to implement new 12-hour shifts for officers.</p> Fri, 17 Aug 2012 22:49:59 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 8719 at Detroit officers win day in court, raise questions about future of city's consent agreement Happiness, relief for unions as emergency manager law heads to the ballot <p>Public employee union leaders are ecstatic that a referendum challenging the state&rsquo;s emergency manager law <a href="">will be on the November ballot</a>.</p><p>They&rsquo;ve fiercely opposed the law in large part because emergency managers have the power to alter or throw out collectively-bargained contracts.</p> Sat, 04 Aug 2012 01:08:02 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 8550 at Happiness, relief for unions as emergency manager law heads to the ballot Emergency manager law opponents move to put referendum question on the ballot <p>Supporters of a referendum to overturn Michigan&rsquo;s emergency manager law want to make sure that question is on the November ballot.</p><p>They filed an emergency motion with the Michigan Court of Appeals Wednesday to speed that process along.</p><p>After a complicated legal process, the Court of Appeals ruled the question should go on the ballot last week, but without specifying it could take &ldquo;immediate effect.&rdquo; So the order could sit for as long as 42 days.</p> Wed, 20 Jun 2012 22:10:26 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 7962 at On Memorial Day in Detroit, a "funeral for democracy" <p>Some voting rights advocates say Michigan&rsquo;s emergency manager law represents &ldquo;the death of democracy&rdquo; in the state.</p><p>So they symbolically laid democracy to rest at mock a funeral service in Detroit Monday.</p><p>The &ldquo;funeral&rdquo; included music and eulogies of sorts--all delivered from behind an American flag-draped coffin. A real hearse waited outside to take the coffin away.</p> Mon, 28 May 2012 19:45:43 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 7646 at On Memorial Day in Detroit, a "funeral for democracy" Michigan election officials deadlocked on challenge to emergency manager law <p>The Michigan Board of State Canvassers deadlocked 2-2 along party lines this morning on whether to allow a challenge to the state&#39;s emergency manager law on the November ballot.</p><p><strong>Update 5:17 p.m.</strong></p><p>MPRN&#39;s Rick Pluta filed audio on the scene at today&#39;s Board of State Canvassers meeting. Here&#39;s what it sounded like - first the chants of &quot;Shame!&quot; from the crowd after the Board had a deadlocked, which meant the question would not be put to voters in November - and then the response from Herb Sanders, the attorney for the Stand Up for Democracy campaign.</p><p></p><p>Sanders says the next stop is the Michigan Court of Appeals.</p><p><strong>12:27 p.m.</strong></p><p>The <a href="">Detroit News</a> has more on the scene at the Board of State Canvassers meeting this morning:</p><blockquote><p>Democrats Julie Matuzak and James Water voted to approve the petitions while Republicans Jeffrey Timmer and Norman Shinkle voted against it.</p><p>More than 140 supporters of repealing Public Act 4 began chanting &quot;Shame, Shame, Shame&quot; and shouting down the board members as &quot;fascists&quot; as they tried to exit the heated meeting.</p></blockquote><p>An attorney arguing for the Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, the group challenging the validity of the petitions, says the law uses the term &quot;shall&quot; - as in petitions &quot;shall&quot; use certain font and type sizes.</p><blockquote><p>&quot;&#39;Shall,&#39; in legal parlance, is a mandatory term,&quot; Pirich said. &quot;It didn&#39;t say &#39;get in the ball park&#39;, it said it &#39;shall.&#39; &quot;We believe the petition is fatally flawed in that regard.&quot;</p><p>Herb Sanders, the attorney representing Stand Up For Democracy, a coalition of groups that launched the petition campaign, noted several Court of Appeals petition cases where the court used a standard of &quot;substantial compliance&quot; to determine a petition&#39;s validity.</p></blockquote><p><strong>11:59 a.m</strong></p><p>The Board of State Canvassers has deadlocked along party lines on whether to put the referendum challenge to the emergency manager law on the ballot. Republicans on the board pointed to the use of an incorrect type size on the petition as grounds for denying it access to the November ballot. The ballot campaign can now go to the state Court of Appeals. Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:17:14 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom & Mark Brush 7214 at What's next for Public Act 4? <p>Every Thursday we take a look at Michigan politics with Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.</p><p>The petition that would place Public Act 4, that's the emergency manager law, on the November ballot came before the State Board of Canvassers.&nbsp; Earlier this week it was confirmed the group Stand up for Democracy had more than enough signatures to put the PA 4 up for repeal on the ballot. But then this question of whether the correct font size was used for the ballot was brought up.</p><p>The Michigan Board of State Canvassers <a href="">deadlocked 2-2</a> along party lines on whether to allow a challenge to the state's emergency manager law on the November ballot.</p><p>“It’s not really a surprise on a matter like this that you would see a split decision,” Demas says.</p><p>Demas adds that supporters of the petition were very upset about the deadlock, and says “they could have avoided all this if they had just gotten their petition approved before they circulated it, and if there was really a font issue, they would have been told.”</p><p>This question will most likely head to the State Court of Appeals. Ken Sikkema believes it’s important the courts make a decision consistent with similar cases.</p><p>He says, “If they in fact decide to keep this off the ballot, yes they will be criticized that they made a political decision, but if they can rest their decision upon the fact that its consistent with prior decisions then I think they are in fairly decent shape, otherwise the confidence and trust that some people have in the court is going to soften.”</p><p> Thu, 26 Apr 2012 21:03:50 +0000 Jennifer White & Mercedes Mejia 7221 at Groups behind Public Act 4 referendum effort say petitions will withstand legal challenge <p>Supporters of a ballot initiative to overturn Michigan&rsquo;s emergency manager law say their petitions will withstand any challenges.</p><p>They gathered more than 226,000 signatures in an effort to put the law up for voter referendum.</p><p>Those petitions now await certification from the state board of canvassers.</p><p>Detroit NAACP lawyer Butch Hollowell says the petitions should easily stand up to the latest legal challenge: a claim, filed by the group Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, that petition headers were typed in the wrong font size.</p> Wed, 11 Apr 2012 00:17:41 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 6994 at Snyder on Detroit consent agreement: "Let's go" <p>Governor Snyder says he&rsquo;s happy Detroit leaders have signed off on a &ldquo;historic&rdquo; consent agreement, but now it&rsquo;s<a href=""> time to get moving on the restructuring plan </a>the deal calls for.</p><p>But at a Thursday roundtable with reporters, Snyder said Detroit&rsquo;s fiscal problems have been building for decades, and won&rsquo;t be solved overnight.</p> Thu, 05 Apr 2012 22:49:43 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 6931 at Snyder on Detroit consent agreement: "Let's go" Detroit City Council approves consent agreement--what's next? <p>It&rsquo;s all but official: <a href="|breaking|text|FRONTPAGE">Detroit and the state have struck a deal to avoid an emergency manager for the city</a>.</p><p>In a contentious 5-4 vote, the City Council approved a consent agreement with the state. The narrow vote came after an emotionally-charged debate that sometimes erupted into hostility.</p><p>But everyone agreed on one point: the city of Detroit will never be the same.</p> Thu, 05 Apr 2012 05:53:54 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 6914 at Detroit City Council approves consent agreement--what's next?