Earlier this week, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette issued an official opinion following the Michigan Supreme Court's decision to allow the repeal initiative of the Emergency Manager law, Public Act 4, on the November 6th ballot. Attorney General Schuette's opinion stated that the effective suspension of PA 4 puts into effect the prior Emergency Manager law, Public Act 72. Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released this statement following the opinion:
"The issue facing the people of Michigan is not the revival of an archaic Emergency Manager law, but whether local and state leaders can cooperate on a plan for the revival of our cities," said Conyers.
"I disagree with the Attorney General's conclusion that PA 72 would be revived with the repeal of PA 4 by referendum. The revival statute clearly states that once repealed by legislation, a statute cannot be brought back without an express act by the legislature. While there is no question that PA 72 was repealed by the newer Emergency Manager law, PA 4, its revival following the overturning of PA 4 by referendum could create yet another question for future litigation.
"At this point, these legal questions are distracting from the heart of the matter. We need to focus and strive towards creating a financially viable recovery plan for all cities while preserving our democracy. This will require the cooperation of all of our city and state leaders.
"The actions of the Attorney General should send forth a call to action and an appropriate response from every community in Michigan. These actions indicate to us that all who believe in democracy must be concerned with Lansing's increasing appetite for control over local government.
"For the good of Michigan's cities, I hope that we can put all of that behind us and let the people decide on November 6th."