'Financial Martial Law' Passes in Michigan

Bill passes House, goes to governor
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2011 1:40 PM CDT
'Financial Marshall Law' Passes in Michigan
Protestors rally against Gov. Rick Snyder'sbudget, March 15, 2011, outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing, Mich.   (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

Michigan’s House yesterday passed a controversial bill that will install state-appointed emergency financial managers in troubled cities, giving each the power to do whatever is necessary to balance budgets—including breaking union contracts. One Senate Republican recently promised that the managers would only be sent to communities in need of “financial martial law.” The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder, who is expected to sign, Politico reports.

More than a thousand gathered in protest outside the state capitol yesterday, though most were seniors opposed to Snyder’s proposal to subject pensions to income tax. Another protest, run by unions and opposed to the financial managers, is scheduled for today, and hundreds have already arrived in anticipation, the Detroit Free Press reports. At the rally, Democrats will unveil a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would guarantee unions their collective bargaining rights. Snyder and Republicans say they don’t oppose collective bargaining. (More Michigan stories.)

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