As of May 2012, there are four cities with appointed Emergency Managers (Pontiac, Ecorse, Benton Harbor, and Flint) and three cities with active consent agreements (River Rouge, Inkster, and Detroit.) This study looks at several factors that may separate these seven cities from other cities in Michigan that are in fiscal stress. The purpose of this study is to find out how well the Emergency Manager Law has been applied to fiscally stressed cities in Michigan and what common factors are shared by the cities that have gone through the process. The study is intended to fact check some of the arguments on both sides of the debate and yield some truth about how the Laws affect certain cities over others.
As cities around the country show more signs of fiscal distress from years of economic downturn, and municipal bankruptcies become more common, Michiganders are paying much greater attention to our state’s policies for dealing with municipal fiscal stress. The extreme case of a local financial emergency in which an Emergency Manager is appointed to take over a city has been widely debated this year after the passage of Public Act 4 in March. However, it is important to recognize the history of state intervention in municipal fiscal stress in this country and in this state.
Governor-elect Rick Snyder ran a campaign that included as one of its primary components a strong urban agenda. Now that he will be assuming the state's highest office come January, he will have a chance to make good on his promise to restore Michigan's urban core-namely the city of Detroit. As Snyder proclaimed during the campaign, "Michigan cannot be a great state until Detroit is on the path to being a great city."
With the state House’s recent approval of an 11% cut in municipal revenue sharing for the coming fiscal year, Michigan municipalities began bracing for a sizeable blow to their budgets. Facing some of the more drastic cuts in the state are its urban core cities, which face cuts from the hundreds of thousands to several millions of dollars.
Detroit's night shift may find it harder to get to and from work on the city's buses as the city gets ready to cut late night and early morning service from almost 40 routes.
Written by Rebecca Mayer
Tuesday, 27 April 2010 14:49
The economic recession has dealt homeowners with a devastating blow. As unemployment rates continue to remain the highest that they have in years, thousands of homes are being repossessed by lenders. Michigan residents have undoubtedly encountered the most troubling economic situation out of all of the states. With the highest unemployment rate, foreclosures on homes are an all too common sight throughout the state. New measures are being taken in order to allow both first time homebuyers and current homeowners to have more control over their real estate financial situation.
Housing Discrimination in Michigan Labor Housing Camps
Written by P. Pamela Davies
Thursday, 22 April 2010 14:51
Housing discrimination occurs not only in conventional home sales and rentals, but also in farm labor housing camps- dwellings that are subsidized by Michigan agricultural employers. Low wages and rural farm locations force employers to provide housing for its workers, according to Michigan Department of Civil Rights (9). As with any business, farming depends on efficiency for increased revenues. The problem, however, is that equity is compromised- since their is an inverse relationship between the preferred quantity of workers and the amount of housing. Consequently, housing discrimination based on familial status, sex, race, and national origin is practiced to achieve efficiency, because many employers prefer to have more workers without having to supply more housing.
Over the past years the U.S. economy has taken a downturn in the world market as well as a focus in the media. Some of the places hit hardest by this economic trend are the nations cities. These cities make up 86% of employment as well as 90% of economic output.1 A prime example of this is right here in Michigan, in Detroit. As cities all over America search for answers, the states are making important policy decisions. Of the top 25 cities affected by the trend in unemployment, 7 were in Michigan. This research was done to compare how different state policies are affecting the economies of their cities, and hopefully try to find possible solutions.
On February 4th, 2009, a bill that would alter different pieces of the Michigan Housing Code was introduced. House Bill 4142 would establish a variety a standards for determining whether or not a building was dangerous and needed to be repaired or demolished. It also established various safety and occupancy requirements that structures and buildings would be subject to, as well as ways in which the state, and more specifically, the Michigan State Housing Development Authority would be able to enforce the proposed legislation.
House Bill 5567 was introduced on November 3, 2009, by State Representatives Woodrow Stanley, Robert Jones, Coleman Young, Richard Hammel, Lee Gonzales, Jim Slezak, Gabe Leland, David Nathan, Bettie Scott, Timothy Bledsoe, Mark Meadows and Bert Johnson and referred to the Committee on Urban Policy. House Bill 5567 aims to amend 1992 PA 147, entitled, "Neighborhood enterprise zone act," by amending section 2 (MCL 207.772), as amended by 2008 PA 284.
The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College.
The thoughts, opinions, and positions represented herein are solely those of the participating students and in no way represent an official position or policy recommendation of Michigan State University.
Michael Raley is a fourth year Sociology and Public Administration/Public Policy student at Michigan State University. He is especially interested in the public policy, politics, and sociology of urban space, as well as transportation systems and public transit. A native of the Grand Rapids area, Michael is currently an intern in the office of State Representative Roy Schmidt, who represents the west and northeast sides of the city. He also aspires to pursue a career in urban and regional planning, and hopes to attend graduate school for such a course of study.