LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder has signed several bills that strengthen communities and protect taxpayers.
"These new laws recognize the vital importance of financially stable, economically vibrant communities to Michigan's future," Snyder said. "They also respect the needs of citizens and taxpayers by delivering greater oversight and efficiency. Our reinvention of government is delivering meaningful reforms that will keep Michigan on the path to prosperity."
Senate Bill 865, sponsored by state Sen. Phil Pavlov, creates the tools needed to effectively address financial emergencies in local governments and school districts. If an independent review team finds a situation of financial emergency and the governor concurs, local units have four choices: a consent agreement, an emergency manager, a neutral evaluation process or Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings. This strengthens the current financial manager law to handle severe financial stress in some municipalities, but also takes into account voters' concerns regarding the previous emergency manager law expressed during the November election. The bill is now Public Act 436 of 2012.
"This legislation demonstrates that we clearly heard, recognized and respected the will of the voters," Snyder said. "It builds in local control and options while also ensuring the tools to protect communities and schools districts' residents, students and taxpayers."
The governor also signed three bills to strengthen fiscal oversight on school district loans and ensure continuation of the School Bond Loan Program and the School Loan Revolving Fund. The legislation caps the outstanding loan value at $1.8 billion and also prevents schools from rolling over debt and creating an unsustainable situation by establishing a single, final repayment date. SBs 770, 771 and 772 - sponsored by state Sens. John Pappageorge, Howard Walker and Pavlov, respectively - are now PAs 437-439 of 2012.
In addition, 15 bills adopt recommendations from the Office of Regulatory Reinvention.
"Michigan is on the right path to a more prosperous future," Snyder said. "By bringing innovation and efficiency to government, coupled with the improvements we have made in our budget, tax, and regulatory environment, we are helping create a bright future for Michigan families."
Visit www.legislature.mi.gov for more information on the bills.
For an infographic breaking down the new emergency manager process, visit http://1.usa.gov/10nn11q.