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Monday, March 19, 2012
Michigan's Controversial Emergency Manager Law: A panel discussion on fundamental issues of governance
4:00 PM -  5:30 PM
Policy Talks @ the Ford School

Michigan's new "Emergency Manager" law (Public Act 4 of 2011, the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act) has garnered national attention and ignited debate on fundamental issues of democratic governance. Among the law's most controversial aspects is the transfer of power from local elected officials to unelected Emergency Managers, providing them the ability to make sweeping changes to local government, including the power to terminate collective bargaining agreements. Proponents of the law argue that it encourages local actors to make difficult decisions themselves, negotiating local agreements in order to avoid a state take-over. In cases where that fails, proponents argue that the law provides critical alternatives to municipal bankruptcy. Opponents argue that the law is undemocratic and unconstitutional, and they have launched efforts to overturn the Act.