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New EM law being pushed through the Michigan legislature

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By Amy Lange
Fox 2 News


LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -- Lawmakers are considering another bill that would replace the state's emergency manager law that voters shot down back in November.

Meanwhile, Detroit city leaders are watching the developments in Lansing closely as a review of the city's finances is already underway.

"Let's get the 30 day review done and based on that, I'll look at it carefully and make a thoughtful decision," said Governor Rick Snyder about that review and the possibility of moving from a consent agreement to an emergency manager.

"I don't want to say the city's doing nothing.  I mean, as a practical matter, I'm going to continue to encourage the mayor and the City Council to get a lot more done.  We need more done there and time is running out," he added.

Sources say Mayor Dave Bing was in Lansing Thursday to work with the governor on doing just that, but the mayor's press secretary refused to confirm his whereabouts or his activities, simply saying he's working hard, but even that may not be enough to avoid an emergency manager.

"I would clearly encourage them to look at that appendix of all those different topics that haven't gotten done and get them done as quick as possible.  I'm just not sure at this point of even doing all those things is enough given their financial condition," Snyder said.

"The way that the city has been run and the situation that they're in financially is that it looks like they're going to end up going to federal bankruptcy court," said Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, a Republican.

Richardville says it's a strong possibility and an option given the new emergency manager legislation they're pushing through the state legislature right now.  If a financial emergency is declared, local officials can opt for a consent agreement, mediation, an emergency manager or bankruptcy.  This new legislation comes just one month after 52 percent of Michigan voters said no to the emergency manager law, voting down Proposal 1.

"I think that this legislation, quite frankly, is unconstitutional.  It's a slap directly in the face of the voters.  I mean, the voters are like, hey, I thought we were counting votes.  The Republicans are like, no, we were counting chickens.  Ha!  Ha!  You don't have any.  You know, too bad.  It sucks to be you," said Senator Coleman A. Young II.

However, Governor Snyder said it's all for the good of the people.

"There will be action.  We need to do something to help the citizens of Detroit.  They deserve more and better services, and we need a financially stable city created here."

The new emergency manager legislation could be passed before lawmakers go home for the holidays and as early as next Tuesday.

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