Michigan lawmakers introduce legislation to repeal the Emergency Manager Law

Michigan lawmakers introduce legislation to repeal the Emergency Manager Law. (File - Sinclair Broadcast Group)

A growing number of lawmakers in Michigan are taking aim at the Emergency Manager Law.

Michigan Democrats have called to repeal the Emergency Manager Law, but some Republicans are jumping on board saying the law can be destructive.

Some Republicans and Democrats agreed it's time for a change and point to Detroit and Flint as failures of the law.

Sen. Curtis Hertel, D-Lansing, said, “What it really does is steal democracy from people in local government."

Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said, “We saw all the problems we had in Flint. The state taxpayers are on the hook for a lot of money. So I would prefer to look at another system."

Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Macomb County, said, “We learned in Flint that putting one person in charge and thinking one man knows everything about everything and that there's not going to be a bad outcome form that, it's time to change."

Bills were introduced this week take on the law. The introduced legislation would embrace a team approach if a city is placed under emergency management.

Yaroch said, “With someone who has financial knowledge, local government knowledge, and someone from the community. I think emergency managers may balance the books, but are the setting that community in a way that they are going to be vibrant healthy communities?"

The governor's press secretary the state has a legitimate purpose in intervening to assist local governments who are unable or unwilling to solve their financial issues.

Hurtel is calling for a full scale repeal of the Emergency Manager Law.

He said, "What I would say is that even if you didn't believe morally it was wrong, which I do, the results speak for themselves on why it's wrong. You see what happened in Detroit Public Schools where they had an emergency manager and they were much worse off by the end of that process. You look at what happened in Flint. 9,000 kids were poisoned, almost nobody listening to people for a year when they were complaining about what was going on with their water."

The governor's office said there are currently no emergency managers in any cities statewide.

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