Snyder Proposes Government Reforms

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

These days, you'd be hard pressed to find any local community in Michigan not looking to cut its bottom line. Governor Snyder believes sharing services is the way to go.

"I believe almost every community can find something useful by working together with others and that's really the motivation here," Gov. Snyder said.

Monday Snyder laid out his plan for government reform with ways to remove what he calls barriers to consolidation.

Highlights include:

Adjusting the timing of collective bargaining, so if communities do consolidate, they can renegotiate contracts sooner.

Reforming binding arbitration for public safety workers, so a community's ability to pay is a fundamental factor in the contract decision.

Prohibiting any community from having a minimum staffing requirement.

Summer Minnick of the Michigan Municipal League said communities hoped for more revenue sharing money, but even so, most are on-board with these reforms.

"Making some reforms to PA-312 and the urban cooperation law are reforms we feel will encourage cost savings and cooperation among local units," Minnick said.

Labor unions have been very much against Snyder's budget proposals, especially the emergency financial manager legislation, but they say they aren't necessarily against consolidating services.

"He didn't say a whole lot we haven't heard before," John Buczek, executive director of the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police said.

Buczek said as long as current contracts are honored, they're willing to work with the governor on his reforms.

"We're not opposed to consolidation," he said, "we understand the situation communities are in."

Snyder said he also wants to see more accountability and transparency in city halls state-wide.

Communities that follow through with "serious cost-saving measures" and use best practice models of consolidation, would get more money under Snyder's plan.

Before this could take effect, lawmakers must first introduce legislation and vote on it.

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  • by anonymous on Mar 22, 2011 at 07:55 AM
    Snyder is here to finish off the middle and upper middle class and bring them down. The Poor really haven't been losing anything, they have nothing to lose. The middle class have been joining their ranks.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 22, 2011 at 06:33 AM
    Well look at the wages some get.NO they don't deserve that at all do they.No wonder there isn't enough money to go to schools & many programs.Job loss is terrible & more are loosing homes & many things each day.Many don't know where their next meal is coming from.Homeless are in large numbers now.Food banks & charities are so drained.Property values are going down.Many can no longer even paint their homes or fix anything.People are protesting with not being heard.a million air runs our state.What was people thinking.No experiance with what POOR means or POVERTY.How can someone NOT experieanced in certain fields do any good for those people.Where are the tax cuts to businesses,where is the help many need,Where are JOBS?His plan is for how can the rich get richer.Ya read those wage prices?They aren't doing any good.They NEED cut !Why is this state broke?ask Dana
  • by Ricardo Location: Lansing on Mar 22, 2011 at 05:30 AM
    This is all well and good- so far. But,where is the plan to reduce state expenses?. Or are they exempt, and just the local governments are expected to take the financial hits, and the state just keeps sucking the life out of the taxpayers? Thank you. Ricardo
  • by Dana Location: Lansing on Mar 21, 2011 at 10:28 PM
    Progress Michigan, Common Cause Michigan and Michigan Citizens Action called on the Legislature to reform government by taking the following steps: ~ Cutting the salaries of legislators and the governor by 20-percent. Michigan has the second-high paid lawmakers in the nation with $71,685 salaries plus generous health and other benefits. The governor's salary is $159,300. ~ Increasing the health care co-pays and deductibles for politicians to that of the highest cost for a state employee. ~ Eliminating legislators' $900-a-month expense allotments. ~ Ending the use of all state vehicles by appointees of the governor. ~ Scaling back the salaries of the governor's appointees to the normal range for civil servants. Senior executives in the civil service with the most experience make $144,081, and administrators $116,189. The pay for a majority of executives and administrators in the Snyder administration exceed those civil service levels, including state Budget Director John Nixon who makes $250,000. ~ Eliminating the governor's taxpayer-funded salary if the governor receives $1 million a year outside of state government in income. don't count on any of these changes because it's only important that the residents of michigan tighten their belts, and local communities. not state officials. we keep hearing how states can't afford to keep paying union employees "high" salaries and benefits, apparently thats because we keep having to pay for them for elected officials.
  • by Jon Location: Adrian on Mar 21, 2011 at 06:19 PM
    It's amazing that the governor is demanding transparency of everyone except himself. He wants shared sacrifice but sacrifices nothing himself. We could collect 1/2 of the tax incentives offered to businesses in this state and relieve a large portion of the financial issues. Maybe, just maybe, businesses that aren't keeping up on their end of the tax abatement deals should pay what they owe. Oh, but that would bite the hand that put Snyder in office. Destroying the middle class will also destroy the state's economy, as there will be no one to support all of the businesses Snyder's fantasy plan is to bring here. Destroying a large part of the economy is really good for the the economic recovery in this state.
  • by Jim Location: Lansing on Mar 21, 2011 at 05:57 PM
    The governor was elected to run the state, not to dictate how local communities do business. What happened to the republicans belief in local control.
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