Poll suggests dim future for Michigan’s emergency managers law

By Eric W. Dolan
Sunday, November 4, 2012 14:59 EDT
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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R). Photo: Flickr user Detroit Regional Chamber, creative commons licensed.
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Michigan’s highly controversial “emergency managers” law is unlikely to survive Election Day, according to Public Policy Polling.

A survey released on Saturday found that the law is only supported by 36 percent of voters, while 45 percent are opposed. With 19 percent of voters still undecided on Proposal 1, the law has an unlikely, but still possible chance of remaining on the books.

Public Act 4 of 2011, pushed by Gov. Rick Snyder (R), allows Michigan to appoint managers to municipalities and school districts facing financial struggles, turning the power of elected local officials over to state bureaucrats. Snyder has said the law is necessary to resolve fiscal crises within the state.

The managers have sweeping powers, being able to cut public workers, slash services, sell off public infrastructure, cancel union contracts, overrule and even fire elected officials, and write all contracts as they see fit.

The cities of Benton Harbor, Flint, Pontiac, and Ecorse are currently being overseen by emergency managers. The state has also appointed officials to oversee school districts in Detroit, Muskegon Heights and Highland Park.

The activist group Stand Up for Democracy collected more than 200,000 signatures to place a repeal of the law on the November ballot.

Snyder has urged Michigan voters to uphold the law.

“I am trying to stay in my lane,” Snyder told The Huffington Post. “I’m not here to run these cities. I’m here to create an environment where I can help them succeed better and give them resources.”

[Image via Detroit Regional Chamber, Creative Commons licensed]

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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