Legislation shows commitment to retirees, improves quality of life in Detroit
Friday, June 20, 2014
DETROIT – Michiganders today stand together with Detroiters, Gov. Rick Snyder said Friday, signing into law the package creating the state’s contribution to the “Grand Bargain” settlement.
The bipartisan legislation is an important step to put the city’s challenging but necessary bankruptcy behind it, helping workers who served the city and residents who call it home.
Snyder signed two bills; part of a package that shows the commitment to retirees while creating safeguards for all Michigan taxpayers and improving the quality of life for Detroit’s 700,000 residents. Other bills in the package were signed on Thursday.
“We are taking historic steps that many would have said was impossible not long ago. We have come together as a state and as a family to build a bright future where the outlook was once very uncertain,” Snyder said.
“All Detroiters are Michiganders, and today I believe we realize that all Michiganders are connected to Detroiters as well. From the harbors of the Upper Peninsula to the shores of West Michigan to the tip of our Thumb, all of Michigan is connected to our largest city. And, while our work is not yet done, I am proud that all of Michigan has pulled together to keep Detroit’s revitalization going strong.”
Snyder was flanked by city and community leaders, lawmakers from all over the state, Detroit employees and others who have partnered on the settlement plan as he signed the bills at the Department of Natural Resources’ Outdoor Adventure Center.
The building – the former Globe Trading Co. on the Detroit Riverfront -- was constructed more than 100 years ago and served as a foundry and automotive manufacturing plant – the kind of place that built Detroit, and, in turn, built America.
Vacant for more than 20 years, the building was in rough shape. In the past year, the Globe started its transformation into a magnificent showcase for the city and its families. Today, it is the setting for one of Detroit’s milestone events.
The state’s upfront $194.8 million contribution to the unprecedented settlement joins assistance from the philanthropic community, the Detroit Institute of Arts, business leaders and the working people of Detroit and Michigan.
Their efforts create a significant step toward resolving the difficult but necessary bankruptcy, mitigating the impact on Detroit retiree pensions and providing better services for residents.
Snyder said the historic agreement is the result of hard work from people across party lines as well as across the state, especially House Speaker Jase Bolger, Democratic Leader Tim Greimel, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer, state Rep. John Walsh and state Rep. Thomas Stallworth III, as well as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen and the mediation team worked tirelessly in guiding the mediation process.
Gov. Snyder signed House Bill 5566, sponsored by Walsh, of Livonia, that ceates and funds a post-bankruptcy governance plan for Detroit based on the New York model. It is now Public Act 181 of 2014.
Snyder also signed HB 5574, sponsored by Stallworth, of Detroit, which appropriates $194.8 million to the Settlement Authority.
The governor also signed related bills:
HB 5567, sponsored by Reps. Walsh and John Kivela of Marquette, creates requirements for cities facing financial struggles intended to improve financial stewardship, including a mayoral line-item veto for appropriations. It is now PA 182 of 2014.
HB 5568, sponsored by Reps. Walsh and Gail Haines, of Waterford, revises some pension practices. It is now PA 183 of 2014.
HB 5569, sponsored by state Rep. Andrea La Fontaine, of Waterford, removes an exemption for the City of Detroit for a ceiling to contributions to a health care plan for municipal employees. It is now PA 184 of 2014.
HB 5570, sponsored by Walsh and State Rep. Ken Yonker, of Caledonia, ensures that changes to the pension governance and certain pension governance terms part of the Plan of Adjustment are recognized and permitted under Michigan law. It is now PA 185 of 2014.
HB 5573, sponsored by state Rep. Alberta Tinsley Talabi, of Detroit, replenishes the Budget Stabilization Fund by replacing money from the settlement from the tobacco settlement. It is now PA 186 of 2014.
HB 5575, sponsored by state Rep. Fred Durhal Jr., of Detroit, requires qualifying cities to take steps – such has having financial plans, annual revenue estimating conferences and other steps intended to improve financial stewardship. It is now PA 187 of 2014.
HB 5576, sponsored by state Rep. Joe Haveman, of Holland, amends Public Act 312 of 1969, dealing with compulsory arbitration of police and fire labor disputes, to correspond with provisions in House Bill 5566 allowing the financial review commission to make a filing regarding city financial implications of an arbitration. It is now PA 189 of 2014.
HB 5600, sponsored by state Rep. John Olumba, of Detroit, amends an incompatible offices act to allow mayor and city council president to serve on a financial review board. It is now PA 190 of 2014.
For more information on legislation, visit legislature.michigan.gov.