by Lauren Fibel

When a city or school district is unable to pay their bills, and a state’s credit rating is in jeopardy as a result, what options do states have? On November 6th,  Michigan voters will decide the fate of Public Act 4, which Governor Rick Snyder signed into law in March of 2011. Public Act 4 allows the state government to appoint emergency managers for those cities or school districts who are in danger of defaulting on their obligations. Controversially, these emergency managers can act in place of the elected government officials and are allowed to act in what they determine is the best manner for the city. Emergency managers are allowed to renegotiate or terminate the school district’s or city’s contracts, sell city or school district property, acquire debt to be paid back by tax payers and even determine what services and expenditures the city will continue to provide. Currently, more than three cities and two school districts in Michigan are governed by emergency managers, yet some citizens feel that this type of appointment is an unconstitutional power grabContinue reading