Ok, folks, I don’t usually get directly into politics, but this is really serious.
I also don’t have it all figured out yet, and I’m not sure what to do about it, but we sure need to do something. The deal is, HB4214 has passed (in slightly different versions) both the Michigan House and the Michigan Senate. It will likely be reconciled today and get signed into law very soon – this week or next.
The upshot is that the governor will be allowed to:
- declare a town or school district to be in a “financial emergency”
- unilaterally replace all elected town/school officials with someone he appoints
- this appointee (who could be a corporation, not a person) could dissolve any contract the town has entered into, including all contracts arrived at by collective bargaining
So, basically, if the governor decides your community is in (or headed for) a financial emergency, he can replace your entire elected local government with one of his choosing, that is responsible only to him – not to you.
This sounds completely unconstitutional to me. How could anyone have voted for this? And it’s so clearly NOT about money; the current budget crises were caused in large part by all the recent tax cuts. I would much rather pay my old tax rate than lose my right to elect – and keep – my local government.
And more importantly, what do we do now? Writing my senator is almost pointless, as she voted against the bill and has been speaking out against it. My state rep will get an earful, for sure – but the bill is, for all intents and purposes, passed. I can’t believe something this major didn’t hit my radar until now. But I refuse to just let this slide. How can we be voting in more unchecked government control just when the rest of the world is shaking theirs off?