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Emergency Financial Manager Bills On Hold

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LANSING (WWJ) - No approval yet for much-debated legislation that would make it easier for the state to take over troubled cities.

WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick reports that the bills will be put on hold till next Tuesday.

“We do not know the reason behind that. This legislation, however, is in good shape, as far as the Republicans are concerned.  Organized labor, not so much. They still continue to believe this is union-busting,” Skubick said.

Governor Rick Snyder answers critics about the legislation that would give broad new powers to emergency financial managers.

“I mean, really what the Emergency Financial Manager Act does is in many respects deal with essentially a last resort kind of situation. You are on the verge of bankruptcy and it’s much better that we are handling these issues in Michigan, rather than a Federal judge in bankruptcy court.” says Snyder.

Skubick said the Republicans, who say this is the right thing to do to avoid bankruptcies in education and essential services, do have the votes to pass these bills and will likely do so next week. 

Gov. Rick Snyder, who supports the legislation, called for the changes during his State of the State address. Tuesday, 1,000 union members and supporters protested the bills on the front lawn of the state capital.

Meantime, a day after the state Senate voted in favor of the bills, the Detroit City Council is asking Mayor Dave Bing to come clean about his plan to get Detroit out of debt. 

Councilman Ken Cockrel said these new laws will make eliminating the city’s $2 million debt a matter of urgency.

“We wanna make sure we have our financial house in order, so that we don’t wind up being subject to a situation where somebody’s going to be sent from Lansing to do it for us,” Cockrel said.

There was no immediate word back from Mayor Bing’s office on Council’s request.

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