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Common Dreams

Michigan Voters Reject Emergency Manager Law

Victory for both unions and democracy

Common Dreams staff

Union members rallied at the state house last March against the Emergency Manager Law. (Photo by Greg Deruiter / Lansing State Journal)

In a victory for unions and grassroots organizers, Michigan voters rejected the controversial Emergency Manager Law or Public Act 4 of 2011 which bequeathed a state-appointed manager with sweeping powers including the ability to get rid of union contracts, dissolve local governments, sell public utilities and slash budgets in fiscally-troubled communities.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that, with 93 percent of precincts in, Michigan voted 52% to 48% against keeping the contentious law, which had been suspended since August when opponents of the bill won a court decision to have the referendum placed on Tuesday's ballot.

The coalition against the measure, Stand Up For Democracy, said the legislation was a fundamental attack on democracy. With "over half of the state's African-American population under an emergency manager or consent agreement," Public Act 4 deprived citizens of local control. Stand Up For Democracy had amassed over 200,000 signatures so that voters could weigh in on the controversial law.

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