Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a law that gives distressed communities the ability to choose an emergency manager or other remedies to fix their finances.
The bill sponsored by state Sen. Phil Pavlov, say if an independent review team finds a situation of financial emergency and the governor is in agreement, troubled cities will have four choices:
A consent agreement
An emergency manager
Neutral evaluation process
Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings
"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The bill was approved by lawmakers after voters repealed an emergency-manager law in the fall election.
Snyder's office said Thursday that the law is among 19 signed by the governor, just a portion of the dozens of bills that still are on his desk.
The law won't start until late March. Under the old law, the power to send an emergency manager rested solely with the governor.
In a statement, the governor's office said the bill strengthens the current financial manager law to handle severe financial stress in some municipalities.
Snyder also signed several other bills in to law on Thursday.
These bills address 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.
"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."