Michigan bill would impose "financial martial law"

Discussion in 'International Current News & Events' started by IrritatedWithUS, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. IrritatedWithUS

    IrritatedWithUS Well-Known Member

    Michigan lawmakers are on the verge of approving a bill that would enable the governor to appoint "emergency managers" -- officials with unilateral power to make sweeping changes to cities facing financial troubles.

    Under the legislation, the Michigan Messenger reports, the governor could declare a "financial emergency" in towns or school districts. He could then appoint a manager to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services - and even eliminate whole cities or school districts without any public input.

    The measure passed in the state Senate this week; the House passed its own version earlier. The two versions of the bill are expected to be reconciled next week, and Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has said he will sign the bill the bill into law.

    Democrats and their allies are decrying the legislation as a power grab and say it's part of a wider effort taking place in several states, such as Wisconsin, to weaken labor unions.

    "It takes every decision in a city or school district and puts it in the hands of the manager, from when the streets get plowed to who plows them and how much they are paid," said Mark Gaffney, president of the Michigan State AFL-CIO. "This is a takeover by the right wing and it's an assault on democracy like I've never seen."

    U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat who represents Detroit, said in a statement that in a given city, the governor's new "financial czar" could "force a municipality into bankruptcy, a power that will surely be used to extract further concessions from hardworking public sector workers."

    He said the legislation raises "serious constitutional concerns." On top of that, he said, allowing an "emergency manager" to dissolve locally elected bodies "implicitly targets minority communities that are disproportionately impacted by the economic downturn, without providing meaningful support for improved economic opportunity."

    Republican state Sen. Jack Brandenburg said several urban areas of the state, especially Detroit, are in "bad shape" and require "financial martial law," the Daily Tribune reports.

    The emergency manager, he said, "has to have the backbone, he has to have the power, to null and void a contract." In response to concerns that local leaders will have to cede control, Brandenburg said, "I'll tell you what, I think that in a lot of these places there is no control."

    An emergency manager would only be put in place if several other steps to save a city's finances failed, and Snyder has said in recent weeks that removing elected officials or breaking contracts would be a last resort for an emergency manager. In addition, the legislature would have the power to remove an emergency manager.

    As the "emergency manager" bill nears final passage, state lawmakers are also considering Snyder's proposed budget, which would cut spending on schools, universities, prisons and communities, according to the Detroit Free Press.

    Snyder has also proposed eliminating $1.7 billion in tax breaks for individuals while cutting $1.8 billion in taxes for businesses to spur job growth. Much of the $1.7 billion in new tax revenue would be "coming from retirees, senior citizens and the working poor," the Free Press wrote in an editorial.

    Michigan bill would impose "financial martial law" - Political Hotsheet - CBS News
  2. nkjones1

    nkjones1 Active Member

    Wait, I've seen this one. This sounds like a repeat of the old "Fascist Dictatorship" show. I only say that because I saw another article about the same thing and they're actually talking about the people that would do all the stuff in question will be a corporation. Anyway, I'm sure Mussolini would be proud.

  3. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    I know a lot of people would say this could never become law here in the USA but it can. Time for the American people to stand up and to speak out. If we let this slide by without a fight, what will be next??????
  4. MrSfstk8d

    MrSfstk8d Well-Known Member

    This definately needs to be fought as a constitutional assault. It should go through the State courts re: the State's constitution, and, failing that, through the Federal courts re: the US Constitution. Failing any of those, well, then more direct, line of effect measure may come into play. Any SM will recall their oath to "defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic." This is not to say that the people affected or potentially affected by this should just sit by and wait for the courts to wash it out though. We all need to watch this CLOSELY!
  5. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    unfortunately, Michigan has become the "California of Great Lakes Region" with corrupt govt being perpetuated by & feeding into generational entitlement...

    something has to be done, I'm NOT saying this bill is it... it is a knee-jerk last-minute "Hail Mary" that will undoubtably fail in its proposed intent.

    also, did anybody else notice that the "source" being quoted by See-BS (CBS) is an op-ed from The Free Press? :hmmm:
  6. Bigdog57

    Bigdog57 Adventurer at large

    Sounds like this state government has learned from the man currently inhabiting the abandoned POTUS chair..... appoint CZARS to do his bidding! :mad:
  7. Asatrur

    Asatrur Well-Known Member

    The odd thing is according to the article, the dems are against it, which the repubs are for it, which does not fit the bill of our POTUS or the priniciples the repubs are supposed to live for.
  8. IrritatedWithUS

    IrritatedWithUS Well-Known Member

    Apparently it's been law in Washington State and Oregon for years except to force a municipality into bankruptcy :(