LANSING (WWJ/AP) – A lawsuit filed against the state by civil rights lawyers claims Michigan’s emergency manager law is dead.

The Sugar Law Center and the Center for Constitutional Rights says in a statement Thursday that the state has no emergency manager law because Public Act 4 has been suspended pending a statewide ballot proposal vote Nov. 6.

Attorney General Bill Schuette and Gov. Rick Snyder have said the state has reverted to the old emergency manager law, Public Act 72.

John Philo, legal director of the Sugar Law Center, said “there cannot be emergency managers without the legal framework to support them” and “the old law is dead.”

Under Public Act 4, state-appointed emergency managers have the power to bypass collective bargaining and restructure union contracts as an avenue to civic cost-cutting.

Supporters of the new law say it’s needed to help fix financially troubled schools and cities.  Opponents say the law is unconstitutional.

Emergency managers are operating in Benton Harbor, Flint, Pontiac and Ecorse, as well as in school districts in Detroit, Highland Park and Muskegon Heights.

The city of Detroit narrowly avoided the appointment of an emergency manager when it entered into a consent agreement with the state.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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