LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) - The Michigan Senate has passed several bills that would help Detroit in bankruptcy. The passage by the full body came just hours after they were passed out of committee.
The bills now move to Governor Rick Snyder's desk. He said during a press event following the passage of the bills that he will sign the bills as soon as he gets them.
The plan calls for $195 million in state aid to soften the cuts to 23,000 Detroit retirees. It would also save the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts from being sold.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan issued the following statement on the passage of the Grand Bargain bills:
"Today’s vote by the Senate to approve $195 million in financial aid for the city of Detroit will help us honor the contract we made with our city retirees. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Senate Republican Leader Randy Richardville and Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer for their leadership on this issue. The kind of bi-partisan support we are seeing in Lansing right now is a clear sign of a new beginning for the city of Detroit."
As the bills moved out of committee this afternoon, the Senate committee did not take action on a bill that would have prevented the DIA from renewing the millage that provides operating funds from Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.
Support for the package was not expected to be as strong in the Senate as it was in the Michigan House, which voted 103 to 7 in favor of the package the package in late May. However, the bills voted on passed by a large margin.
Behind the scenes negotiations on the bills have been going on for days.
Earlier in the day Mark Diaz, President of the Detroit Police Officers Association urged the Senate Committee to vote down the package.
Current Detroit Police officers and fire fighters have not come to terms in closed Mediation in the Bankruptcy Court process and are not supporting Detroit's Plan of Adjustment.
Diaz told the Senate Committee new police officers would be hired at $14 an hour and have to pay some toward their pensions.
Annie Patnaude of the Michigan Chapter of Americans For Prosperity also urged the Committee to vote no saying, "Detroit needs to take responsibility" for its own financial mess. But she did say she is not against Detroit retirees.
Senate Majority Randy Richardville of Monroe who Chaired the Committee told fellow members, "This is by far the best we can do."
Senator Richardville confirmed Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Chief Federal District Court Judge Gerald Rosen visited the closed caucus meetings of Senate Republicans and Democrats to explain the need for the state aid.
As the legislative wheels turned in Lansing, the mediators in the Detroit Bankruptcy case announced that the Skillman Foundation would contribute $3.5 million to offset post retirement health benefits costs for the City of Detroit's retirees.