LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court says a referendum on the state's emergency manager law will appear on the November ballot.
Republican Justice Mary Beth Kelly provided the crucial vote for Friday's decision, joining three Democratic justices.
The court was asked to decide a technical issue: Did the petitions used to gather signatures have the right type size?
But its decision means voters will decide whether to keep or kill a law that sends powerful emergency managers into distressed communities and school districts to fix their finances.
The decision is also a major victory for unions, which represent many workers who have been laid off or whose pay has been slashed by emergency managers. It's a significant loss for Republicans, especially Gov. Rick Snyder, who signed the law.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, using the powers of a consent agreement through Public Act Four, recently doled out contracts to the unions, which included significant cuts, but did not involve much negotiations. Bing says the city has been working on a back-up plan for several months if those contracts are voided. "The supreme court has past a judgment and we’re going to adhere and respect that judgment," Bing said.
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