The Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) bills passed the Michigan Senate at 1:15p.m. this afternoon. The House concurred with three of the six bills. They can vote on a fourth bill as soon as tomorrow. Because of legislative rules they cannot vote on the final two until Tuesday. It is only when these final two bills pass that the entire package takes effect. We have no doubt that these final three bills will pass the House. These EFM bills will allow someone appointed by the Governor to arrive in a community, strip the locally elected school board or city council of their power, throw out contracts and not be challenged by the people, the elected officials or the courts.
Governor Snyder has repeatedly said he supports collective bargaining rights, yet he will sign these bills. He also said he wanted to invest in early childhood education, but his budget offered nothing. He offers us a budget of “shared sacrifice” but cuts taxes on corporations and increases taxes on senior citizens and low income working families. We may have lost the battle over the EFM bills, but we will continue fighting because as Amal Awad-Jumah from Dearborn explained why he called his Senator - “it’s our obligation.” We must fight for our locals who will be pushed into financial crisis if the Governor’s budget becomes a reality. We must fight for our students, for public schools and public universities. Individuals working together through their unions are the last best defense of the middle class. It cannot be the same old partisan politics as usual where the party in power tries to hurt the other side. We need balance that brings our leaders together to create a quality education system and jobs here in Michigan. Keep watching your email, our webpage and Facebook to find out what our next actions will be and how you can participate.