michigan forward

Politics
1:02 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Emergency manager referendum headed for November ballot, for now

The referendum on the state's emergency manager law is headed to the ballot...for now.

The state Court of Appeals has refused to convene a special panel that could have reversed a precedent that says the referendum campaign met the minimum requirements to qualify for the ballot. That could have prevented the proposal from appearing on the November ballot. 

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Politics
2:54 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Who's behind the group Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility?

Bob LaBrant
The Sterling Group

The former longtime head of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s political action group is now raising money for the group challenging the petition to repeal the state’s emergency manager law.

For 34 years Bob LaBrant raised money for the Michigan chamber’s political action committee. Last month he retired; about the same time the ballot committee known as Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility was formed by LaBrant, Michigan Bankers Association Vice President of Government Relations John Llewellyn, and Larry Meyer; former CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association who's now retired.  

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Politics
12:16 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Emergency manager law opponents, armed with petitions, head to Lansing

Opponents of Michigan’s emergency manager law will descend on Lansing with petitions Wednesday.

The coalition fighting Public Act 4 says they’ve collected more than 218,000 signatures to put the measure up for voter referendum in November.

They need the state to certify about 161,000 of those signatures for that to happen—and for the law to be suspended until the vote.

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Politics
5:01 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Campaign to repeal emergency manager law "on track" say organizers

Protesters gather outside the gated community where Governor Snyder lives. Laura Weber / Michigan Public Radio Network

The group “Michigan Forward,” says a campaign to repeal the state’s emergency manager law is on track to get on the November ballot.

That’s even though the group decided to wait another six to seven weeks before submitting its petition signatures.

Initially, Michigan Forward had planned to turn in signatures on the same day as the Governor's 2012 State of the State address.

CEO Brandon Jessup says he hopes to have 250,000 signatures in favor of a repeal measure, far more than required by law.   He says people have collected about 180,000 signatures so far.

"We’re on the buses, we’re at at the bus stops, that’s just one component of the campaign that’s picking up now," says Jessup.  "We have a very strong church component, we’ve visited, I believe, 75 churches over the last two Sundays, just here in Detroit by itself."

Jessup says the emergency manager law takes away people’s constitutional right to elect their leaders.

Governor Rick Snyder says the law encourages the state to help cities and schools without resorting to the appointment of an emergency manager.   But he says sometimes an emergency manager is necessary for cities facing insolvency.

Politics
5:19 pm
Fri December 9, 2011

Michigan emergency manager law opponents optimistic

A leader of an effort to overturn the state’s emergency manager law says the petition drive is invigorated by news that legislative leaders are working on a back-up plan in the event the law is halted.

Brandon Jessup with Michigan Forward said he expects that halt will happen.

“I’m predicting success based on the amount of support we’ve received from across the state. Not just Detroit, but places like Traverse City, Cheboygan County, Grand Rapids, Benton Harbor – clearly – Pontiac, Saginaw, all across the state,” said Jessup.

Jessup said it’s good that lawmakers are revisiting the issue, but they need to do more.

“I’m glad to see the Legislature start to do something, but they haven’t invited the community to come to the table to help draft the legislation, so once again this is another near-sighted attempt," he said. "Not really to solve the solution, to be a solution to the problem, but to thwart our attempts at democracy.”

Opponents say the emergency manager law gives too much authority to state-appointed officials, and robs people of the right to select their local elected leaders.

Benton Harbor, Pontiac, Ecorse, Flint and the Detroit Public Schools are all run by emergency managers.

Politics
4:32 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Michigan Forward challenges Public Act 4

Michigan Forward Chairman and CEO Brandon Jessup.

Michigan's emergency manager law was strengthened this year with Public Act 4 which gave emergency managers more sweeping powers.

PA 4 is now facing a number of court challenges.

The group Michigan Forward is gathering signature to put the law to a voter referendum on the November 2012 ballot. As of now they have over 155,000 signatures. They need 161,304 signatures or more.

If they're able to collect those signatures and the petition is approved, the emergency manager law will be suspended until the 2012 election.