DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ) - The emergency manager law could be suspended temporarily depending on a vote Thursday morning.
A group fighting the emergency manager law has gathered over 225,000 signatures, enough to put the issue of Public Act 4, the emergency manager law, before voters in November.
The State Board of Canvassers will vote whether or not to approve the petitions at 10 am Thursday.
The Stand Up for Democracy coalition and groups against the law believe it strips voters of the democratic process.
“When you get an emergency manager all that goes away. And they want it back,” said Greg Bowens.
But supporters of the law believe it helps struggling communities get out of debt. The emergency manager law allows the state to appoint an emergency manager to take over financially troubled cities and school districts whether or not the entity or the people want them to, and it gives them the power to throw out union contracts.
“The new law goes way too far. Republican, democrat, liberal, or conservative, we can all agree that in America, we vote to decide the future of our country,” said Bowens.
The Detroit and Highland Park Public School systems and the cities of Pontiac and Ecorse are currently under emergency manager rule. The city of Detroit recently avoided an emergency manager with a consent agreement. If the state board of canvassers approves the petition, the emergency manager law would be suspended temporarily. If that happens, Terry Stanton, a spokesman for Governor Rick Snyder, released this statement saying:
“The Administration’s position has been, and continues to be, if public act 4 were to be suspended pending a statewide vote in November, Public Act 72 of 1990 would be revived.”
Emergency managers under the old law have far less power including less power over union contracts.
The State Board of Canvassers will vote on the petition Thursday at 10 am in Lansing.
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