Gov. Snyder signs emergency manager law - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Gov. Snyder signs emergency manager law

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(12/27/12) -  Gov. Snyder isn't wasting any time after this Christmas holiday.

He just signed several new laws, including a brand new emergency manager law.

The new emergency manager law could mean a few changes for the city of Flint, but the mayor says things should remain business as usual in the city.

Voters rejected the emergency manager law just a few months ago. Snyder says he recognizes the voters' message, and this new law could mean the freedom to choose.

The new law gives distressed cities four options - including an emergency manager, bankruptcy, or a reform plan with the state. It also gives city council the power to vote out the emergency manager down the road.

"Since Flint has already had an appointed emergency financial manager, that will be status quo," said Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. "As the new law goes into effect there is a new timeline that's in place where the city council could vote to remove that financial manager after 18 months once the new law starts."

This law will take effect in late March.

This new law also requires the state to pay for the emergency manager's salary, instead of the city.

The law would also allow a familiar face back into the EM position. Former emergency manager Mike Brown could be allowed back into that spot.

"Mike Brown will still be in the decision making process, if he's going to be the new emergency financial manager revisited, he's still the city administrator at this point so he's been in the decision making process for the city of Flint all along," said Sheldon Neeley, Flint City Councilman.

The previous law didn't allow for former employees to work as the emergency manager, so current city administrator Mike Brown had to step down earlier this year.  Under this new law, he could be re-appointed as the EM.

Another change involving unions: this law allows for EM's to modify, reject or end labor union agreements.

"I think it's a disappointment for voters who repealed Public Act 4 because the most controversial provisions, such as imposing new labor contract provisions, that's back in this law, so the Republicans and the Governor who passed this have their own agenda and they're putting that forward in this law," Walling said.

Among the other bills signed by Gov. Snyder on Thursday are:

- The Organized Retail Crime Act, to protect consumers by cracking down on the increasing prevalence of retail fraud.

- A law allowing teachers retired for more than one year a 365 day window to re-enter the classroom if they are on a state-approved critical shortage list.

- A law halting the transfer of medicinal marihuana by vehicle, unless the drug is securely locked down, away from passenger accessibility.

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