The Pros and Cons of Proposal One

(League of Women Voters, http://www.lwvmi.org/documents/LWVMIProCon11-12.pdf)

Note:  This information is provided by the League of Women Voters. Find out more about this nonpartisan organization at www.lwvmi.org


Public Act 4 of 2011 would: Establish criteria to assess the financial condition of local government units, including school districts. Authorize Governor to appoint an emergency manager (EM) upon state finding of a financial emergency, and allow the EM to act in place of local government officials. Require EM to develop financial and operating plans, which may include modification or termination of contracts, reorganization of government, and determination of expenditures, services, and use of assets until the emergency is resolved. Alternatively, authorize state – appointed review team to enter into a local government approved consent decree. Should this law be approved? YES __ NO ____


PA 4 of 2011 was passed by the majority of the Michigan Legislature and signed by Governor Snyder in order to update the former emergency finance manager law, PA 72 of 1990. Per the Michigan Constitution, local governments are creations of and subordinate to the state and thus, the state can pass laws governing their operations.

Under PA 4, emergency managers gained new power to deal with financial emergencies including having authority previously vested in local elected officials and to reject, modify and terminate contracts and collective bargaining agreements. Supporters cite the need for emergency managers to have more powers than under the old law in order to deal with the current financial crisis that impacts local cities and school districts.

The Governor is responsible for appointing an emergency manager after declaring a financial emergency. A consent agreement is another option. Emergency manager must submit action plan to State Treasurer and hold a public meeting on it.

Emergency managers are seen as a needed alternative to filing for bankruptcy in order to protect the credit of the state.

YES vote puts the Emergency Manager Law, PA 4 of 2011, into effect.

Note: Website not available at this time.


Stand Up for Democracy and others oppose PA 4 of 2011 and see it as a power grab by the Governor and Michigan Legislature. Opponents recognize the need to have interventions available when there is a financial crisis, but they argue that locally elected officials should still have power and previously agreed upon contracts should be enforced.

Some believe PA 4 may be unconstitutional, particularly regarding abrogation of contracts and voter disenfranchisement of the local community. Opponents argue that the broad powers given the Emergency Manager such as eliminating the role of locally elected officials, altering contracts, firing employees, suspending collective bargaining agreements, outsourcing, merging cities or school districts, and selling assets go too far.

Many believe PA 72 of 1990, the Emergency Financial Manager law which PA 4 replaced, is adequate for dealing with financial crisis and blame reductions in state revenue sharing for causing the crisis. Because of the referendum, Flint, Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Pontiac, Detroit Public Schools and Highland Park Schools, are being operated under PA 72 of 1990.

NO vote repeals the Emergency Manager Law, PA 4 of 2011.

For more information go to http://standup4democracy.com

For Ferndale 115 News coverage of election-related stories, including candidate profiles and League of Women Voters break-downs of the ballot proposals, please visit http://oaklandcounty115.com/category/voter_info/.