Voters repeal Michigan's Emergency Manager Law - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Voters repeal Michigan's Emergency Manager Law

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(11/07/12) - Voters have spoken and repealed the state's Emergency Manager Law, or Public Act 4. This outcome undoes what the legislature had passed before.

52 percent said 'no' on Proposal 1, while 48 percent supported the measure.

It appeared the proposal was in good shape Tuesday night, but late returns from Wayne County perhaps made the difference.

So what does this mean for communities like Flint, operating under the old law - Public Act 72?

Until the board of canvassers certifies the results, nothing is official.

The treasurer's office says Flint and other communities under an emergency financial manager are in the same place prior to the election, meaning PA 72 of 1990 still stands and those EFM's are operating under that law.

The administration's position has been and will continue to be that the old law was revived when PA 4 was suspended.

There's been plenty of opposition to the controversial emergency manager law, or Public Act 4, since its inception into Michigan law last year.

Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Mike Brown to the position in December. Months of legal action and public protests followed across the state.

The Michigan Supreme Court eventually placed the issue on the November ballot.

In August, Brown was replaced by Ed Kurtz, acting on behalf of Flint under the old EM law.

Gov. Snyder met with members of the media from across the state in Lansing, Wednesday, face to face and by phone.

While he campaigned in support of the Emergency Manager Law, he says he will move forward and continue to make sure communities are on a path to success.

The governor would not speculate about the legislature's next moves, as far as writing a new bill. Flint city council President Scott Kincaid hopes that doesn't happen.

"I think residents throughout the state recognize what democracy really is and should be and having a community run by a dictatorship by an emergency manager that can just raise fees, change contracts and eliminate services stuff like that, that's not how our country has been founded," Kincaid said.

Gov. Snyder did admit there are some improvements that should be made regarding communities that are transitioning in and out of an EFM set up.

There will be no immediate changes, and communities like Flint will continue to operate under PA -72.

Two pending lawsuits challenging whether the old law should remain on Michigan's law books will have to be settled in court. The lawsuits are expected to be heard sometime this month.

"That raises a real question if it should be found not to be operative that would raise a question that we wouldn't have any laws, that's something we have to take a look at ... since the suspension of PA 4," Gov. Snyder said.

Flint's Emergency Financial Manager, Ed Kurtz, held his weekly press briefing Wednesday, one day after voters statewide struck down the emergency manager law.

"The Attorney General has issued an opinion that PA-72 is valid that's what we're operating under," Kurtz said. "For us, it's status quo because we were operating under PA 72 and will continue to do so until someone says we can't. That's where that stands."

Kurtz and his team will continue doing the job the governor gave him - putting Flint on a path to financial success.

"We still face the $16 to $17 million in deficits from previous administrations. We still face huge pension liabilities, unfunded OPED costs, so there's still clearly in my mind the city is still in an emergency and will be for some time," he said.

Proposals 2-6 were also defeated. For more on those proposals, click HERE.

You can see all the Michigan General Election results HERE.

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