Our Common Good

Gov. Rick Snyder is abandoning hopes of setting up a state-run health insurance exchange system after repeatedly failing to convince fellow Republicans in the state House to authorize the program, The Detroit News has learned.

Instead, the governor will pursue a joint partnership with the federal government to create an online portal for customers to shop for health insurance as mandated by President Barack Obama’s health reform law, Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel confirmed Wednesday.

"He would have preferred a state-based exchange so Michigan can control its own destination instead of the feds being in driver’s seat," Wurfel told The News.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers has cancelled a meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, June 26th. I confirmed this with a phone call to the Elections Bureau this afternoon. Additionally, Republican Board member Jeff Timmer is rumored to have resigned and it is believed that the other Republican, Norm Shinkle, will resign as well, leaving the Board without a quorum. I have been unable to confirm Timmer’s resignation but I have heard about it from multiple sources.

Without a quorum, the Board will be unable to certify ANY of the referendums headed for the ballot in November. They will need to wait until Governor Rick Snyder appoints replacements, a process that could take … oh, I don’t know … some time. Wouldn’t want to rush into it or anything, make a hasty decision and such.

The reasoning behind these dramatic moves is clear: to prevent the validation of the petitions to repeal Public Act 4 — the Emergency Manager Law — and the “Protect Our Jobs” petitions to place collective bargaining protections in the state constitution. Any sort of delay like this increases the likelihood that the referendums will not be certified by the August 27th deadline for placing them on the ballot and reduces the amount of time proponents for the referendums have to get out the vote.

Taking steps this drastic betray the absolute terror conservatives have in Michigan at the moment. They are so desperate to hold onto their power and the gains they have made that they will literally interfere with and subvert the democratic processes to get their way.

Wells Fargo bank will file a court challenge to a new state law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder that overturned a $2.4-million judgment against the brother and business partner of Michigan Republican Party Chairman Bobby Schostak, the bank’s attorney said Friday.

The law Snyder signed Thursday, which says a lender can recover only the real estate offered as collateral when a certain type of commercial loan goes into default, is unusual because it is retroactive, to the benefit of Schostak’s brother.

[…]

The law is intended to overturn a judgment related to an unpaid loan on a Traverse City mall that was controlled by the Livonia-based real estate firm Schostak Bros. That judgment was upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The new law also could impact at least one other case recently decided on similar grounds in federal court in Michigan, though attorneys and legal scholars say the new state law may violate the U.S. Constitution.

The order Tuesday from Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina is another legal defeat for Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration since the adoption of a state law last year that gave emergency managers expanded powers when appointed to help cities and schools fix their finances.

abaldwin360:

When the city of Pontiac, Michigan, shut down its fire department last Christmas Eve, city councilman Kermit Williams learned about it in the morning paper. “Nobody reports to me anymore,” Williams says. “It just gets reported in the press.” This was just the latest in a series of radical changes in the city, where elected officials such as Williams have been replaced by a single person with unprecedented control over the city’s operation and budget.

Gov. Rick Snyder put Louis Schimmel in charge of Pontiac last September, invoking Public Act 4, a recent law that lets the governor name appointees to take over financially troubled cities and enact drastic austerity measures. Under the law, passed last March, these emergency managers can nullify labor contracts, privatize public services, sell off city property, and even dismiss elected officials.

Schimmel got to work quickly, firing the city clerk, city attorney, and director of public works and outsourcing several city departments. City fire fighters were told that they would be fired if their department was not absorbed by Waterford Township’s. Schimmel has proposed putting nearly every city property up for sale, including city hall, the police station, fire stations, water-pumping stations, the library, the golf course, and two cemeteries.

read more on Mother Jones

In a letter to a Senate subcommittee, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) warned that the deep cuts to a federal heating assistance program proposed by President Obama would have disastrous consequences for his state’s poorest residents

[…]

Jim Crisp, executive director of the Michigan Community Action Agency Association, which connects people with LIHEAP assistance, notes that Michigan’s social safety net is already developing gaping holes. “We’ve seen reduction of the Earned Income Credit. We are looking at the loss of [the state Low Income Energy Efficiency Program], and a 50 percent reduction in LIHEAP.” Even as he asks for federal assistance to aid low-income families, in his last budget, Gov. Snyder proposed eliminating the EITC altogether.

I thought Republicans wanted to cut federal spending and “handouts.”

corruptpolitics:

Like other Republican governors, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has aggressively pursued an agenda to curb labor rights, cut corporate taxes, and slash funding for education. As ThinkProgress reported,  Snyder’s proposed budget would cut corporate taxes by 86 percent while  making the state’s already regressive tax system even worse by  disproportionately increasing taxes on lower-income earners, especially retirees. The tax plan passed both houses of the state legislature last week and awaits his signature.

corruptpolitics:

Like other Republican governors, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has aggressively pursued an agenda to curb labor rights, cut corporate taxes, and slash funding for education. As ThinkProgress reported, Snyder’s proposed budget would cut corporate taxes by 86 percent while making the state’s already regressive tax system even worse by disproportionately increasing taxes on lower-income earners, especially retirees. The tax plan passed both houses of the state legislature last week and awaits his signature.

As you probably know, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder recently signed legislation passed by the Republican-dominated House and Senate that gives State-appointed Emergency Financial Managers (EFMs) historically broad and sweeping powers. These new powers allow the EFM to cancel or modify contracts (including with unions) and even to fire the municipality’s government.

Today, for the first time, a EFM did just that. According to a press release from the Michigan AFL-CIO, Joseph L. Harris, EFM for Benton Harbor, Michigan issued “an order prohibiting all action by all city boards, commissions, authorities and other entities, except as authorized by the emergency manager.”

Not sure why this is not a major headline for all the national media outlets.

Better hurry up with that recall…

It’s official: Michigans Governor Rick Snyder has signed the “financial marital law” bill into law. This law, is ostensibly about taking over the management of local governments that are in financial distress. Defenders of the legislation will often draw comparisons between this and a corporation facing bankruptcy. Actually, it’s more like giving sweeping powers over municipal affairs to a an appointed czar

Hard to believe this could happen in this country, but here we are…

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is handing out tax breaks to corporations, slashing them by 86%, while increasing income tax for low to middle income workers by as much as 31%.