News Roundup
8:34 am
Tue April 3, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines...

No clear path forward in Detroit

Detroit City Council met yesterday afternoon and did not vote on a proposed financial stability agreement with the state. Instead, as Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports, the meeting "started out with a contentious public hearing about union contracts, and ended in a confusing mess of court challenges—with no clear answer about how the whole process will go forward."

Council is expected to meet again today starting at 10 a.m.

Gov. Snyder has said his deadline for deciding whether or not to appoint an emergency manager is this Thursday (April 5).

And today at 2 p.m., according to the Detroit Free Press, a federal court will hear arguments about whether Gov. Snyder's "pressure on the city to scrap ratified [union] contracts violates federal due-process rights and contract clauses in the federal and state constitutions."

A separate court hearing on potential violations of the state's open meetings act is set to take place next week (April 11). As Sarah Cwiek reports:

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuck has ordered the review team not to approve or even discuss a consent agreement before an April 11 hearing.

The court order was called “disturbing” by officials in Gov. Snyder's office. They say they will appeal.

Judge blocks legislative maneuvers by State House Republicans

Republicans in the State House have passed 500 bills with "immediate effect" provisions. With this provision, laws go into effect immediately after the Governor signs them, rather than waiting 90 days after the legislative session ends.

To pass an "immediate effect" bill, the legislative body needs a super-majority, which it does not have. 

Democrats in the State House sued, saying the Republican majority in the State House refuses to hold recorded votes on "immediate effect" bills.

As Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody reported, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Clinton Canady granted a temporary injunction against the legislative maneuver. Her order blocks the implementation of three bills already signed into law.

An emergency manager for Muskegon Heights schools?

With a projected deficit of more than $9 million, a state financial review team is recommending that Gov. Snyder appoint an emergency manager for the school system.

Unlike Detroit, an EM appointment here is not likely to be controversial. The school board took the unusual step of asking for an emergency manager appointment last December.

Gov. Snyder has ten days to act on the review team's recommendation. If one is appointed, the Muskegon Heights schools emergency manager would be the seventh emergency manager operating in the state.