Conyers questions Mich. emergency manager law

Jessica M. Karmasek Dec. 2, 2011, 1:00pm



WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - U.S. Rep. John Conyers sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, asking him to review Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's emergency manager law.

Conyers, a Democrat and one of the longest-serving incumbent members of the House, told Holder he questions the law's constitutionality and is concerned it could put an unelected official in place in Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Snyder's office told the newspaper that it is "confident in the law's constitutionality and legality."

In 1990, Public Act 72 established the state's power to intervene in units of local government that experience financial emergencies.

Earlier this year, Snyder signed legislation that allows the state to assist earlier when local units of government are in financial distress instead of waiting until they are on the brink of bankruptcy.

The move ensures residents are not cut off from basic services and protects taxpayers from having to bailout municipalities that fail to take action.

The city of Detroit's pension boards filed suit in federal court seeking to block the emergency manager measures. However, a judge dismissed the challenge in September, saying the law hadn't yet affected the plaintiffs.

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