Ballot Proposal 1: Referendum on the Emergency Manager Law

Ballot Proposal 2012-01 will give Michigan voters the opportunity to retain or reject Public Act 4 of 2011, commonly known as “the Emergency Manager Law.”

Ballot Proposal 12-01 is one of six statewide ballot proposals that citizens will vote on Nov. 6. Proposal 12-01 is a referendum of Public Act 4 of 2012, The Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act.  This law is commonly known as “the Emergency Manager Law.”  PA 4 is the third version of a series of laws dating back to 1988 that have been adopted to address fiscal crisis in local communities and school districts.

Michigan State University Extension has prepared a bulletin that provides Michigan residents with non-partisan, objective information about all of the statewide ballot proposals. Download the free bulletin, GE49 “Statewide Ballot Proposals 2012” from the MSU Extension Bookstore.

This proposal:

  • Establishes criteria for determining the financial condition of a local government or school district
  • Allows for the establishment of a state review team to determine the level of  fiscal stress in a community or school district
  • Allows the state review team to enter into a consent agreement with a community or school district to address the community’s fiscal problems
  • Authorizes the governor to appoint an emergency manager who has the authority to act in place of the governing body of the community or school district to develop operating and financial plans, modify or terminate contracts and determine future expenditures, service and use of assets

PA 4 was suspended in August 2012, pending the outcome of the November election, when it was determined there were enough signatures to put it on the ballot as a referendum. Since August, PA 72, the previous “Emergency Financial Manager” law, has been reinstated until the outcome of the election.  PA 4 expands the powers available to emergency managers beyond those outlined in PA 72.

This proposal gives Michigan residents the opportunity to retain this law as passed by the legislature in 2011 or reject PA 4.  If the referendum is defeated, PA 72 will be instated pending any court challenges to its reinstatement.

A “Yes” vote will retain Public Act 4 of 2011.

A “No” vote will repeal Public Act 4. State officials indicate that repeal would mean Public Act 72, a previous, more limited emergency manager law, would again take effect.

For more information on this and the other proposals, read Michigan State University Extension’s bulletin, Statewide Ballot Proposals 2012, to learn more about the issue and supporting and opposing arguments for this and the other issues on the November ballot.

Additional information also can be obtained from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

You can also read more MSU Extension News articles on: Proposal 2, Proposal 3, Proposal 4, Proposal 5 and Proposal 6.

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