Michigan voters may get to decide the future of the state's emergency financial manager law after all. A ballot initiative to put the issue before voters in November has been allowed to move forward, after the Michigan Court of Appeals declined on Thursday to revisit its earlier decision regarding the matter, according to the Associated Press.
What was the earlier decision handed down by the Michigan Court of Appeals regarding the proposal?
The initial decision to allow the ballot proposal to go forward was issued by a panel of three judges, who concluded that the size of the font found on the petitions used to collect signatures from the public in support of the initiative was not obstructive. Opponents had charged that the size of the script was too small and therefore the petitions, and the thousands of signatures contained on their pages, should be tossed out.
Why did the full court decline to revisit the decision?
The original three-judge panel requested that the court consider convening the full roster of 28 judges to review the matter, reportedly because they opposed the fact that they had to decide in favor of the petitioners and were hoping that the full court may rule differently, according to the Huffington Post. The full court declined to consider the matter because experts had previously been called to decide the font issue regarding the petition and there is a precedent already in place for the original panel's decision.
What happens next?
The group leading the opposition to the petitions, Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, has said that they will file an appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court. That appeal may result in a stay being served to the State Board of Canvassers, which would delay the certification of the signatures on the petitions, according to the Detroit News. The Michigan Supreme Court, if it decides to hear the case, would then ultimately decide whether or not the initiative makes it to the November ballot.
If the emergency financial manager law is repealed by Michigan voters, what would happen?
State officials have said that the emergency managers that are currently in place in four of the state's cities and three of its school districts would still keep their jobs, according to MLive. What would change, however, is just what they are allowed to do as emergency managers and what powers they hold, as the state would revert back to an earlier version of the law, known as Public Act 72.
Vanessa Evans is a musician and freelance writer based in Michigan, with a lifelong interest in politics and public issues.
- Politics & Government
- Michigan Court of Appeals