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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