Schuette: Old Law Takes Over If Referendum Succeeds

Aug 6, 2012

Attorney General Bill Schuette says if Michigan’s emergency manager law is rejected by voters in November then the old law takes over – and that still allows the governor to name a financial manager to run a city or school district.

Schuette’s official opinion says that’s also true while the law is suspended until after the voting in November. 

Public Act Four of 2011 is a souped-up version of Michigan’s old local government takeover law, and the attorney general says that old law is back in effect once the referendum is officially put on the ballot. Schuette says the referendum challenges the entire law and not just the concept of emergency managers. Part of the new law specifically repealed the older law.

That clears the way for the state to appoint or re-appoint managers running seven cities and school districts. They will be operating with diminished authority. Governor Snyder will also ask the Legislature to make some adjustments to the old law.

The referendum campaign is crying foul, and says the governor and the attorney general are writing their own rules to get what they want. They say the governor can expect a legal fight each time he tries to re-appoint a local government manager.