Gov. Snyder pushes plan that gives more power to emergency financial managers; calls for state government reform

Governor Rick Snyder defends his controversal budget proposal in a 1-on-1 interview with NBC25. / Mike Horne

The beginning of March means the beginning of a special focus for Gov. Rick Snyder: government reform. Snyder has set up monthly themes to help fulfill his pledge to reinvent Michigan, but government reform is likely to draw it TMs critics like the wide range of other issues Snyder has outlined, more specifically in his February 17th Executive Budget Presentation before state lawmakers.

Central to his plan is his endorsement of legislation working its way through the legislature that gives the state more flexibility in the financial crisis management of government bodies like the City of Pontiac and the Detroit Public Schools.

Snyder said the goal is to give state managers more options to deal with financial problems before it TMs too late. The way I view it is, the most successful emergency situation to have is the one that didn TMt happen, Snyder told NBC25.

However, one of the most controversial parts of the legislation gives financial managers the power to scrap existing contracts.

Related to the issue is Public Act 312 of 1969, which protects the rights of police and firefighters to engage in binding arbitration to resolve labor disputes. Snyder would not comment in-depth but would only say he TMs monitoring the progress of lawmakers on the issue.

Revenue sharing changes

Snyder TMs push for government reform extends to local communities. In February, he proposed eliminating the near $100 million that goes to several local governments; money that helps pay for police and fire protection. Flint has $8.1 million tied to that fund that it will lose if Snyder TMs proposal is adopted.

The governor did say he reorganized a $200 million fund of revenue sharing dollars; putting it up for grabs by incentivizing municipalities to adopt best practices that state officials would find attractive.

Be sure to read our story on Snyder's defense on the pension tax and big business tax breaks