Wednesday, April 6, 2011

March Madness

March was a crazy month:

1) For the 3rd time in history, no number one ranked team made it to the Final Four, and my fourth favorite team from Utah played well. Props to Jimmer for the award.

2) Former lobbyists rush back to Washington to get jobs working for the people they used to proposition, and coincidentally work on legislation that benefits their former employers.

3) Wisconsin eliminated collective bargaining for public employees. New Jersey teachers' health benefits become the target of the latest anti-whatever campaign.

4) The rebellion in Libya escalated to a full on war.

5) Japan endured an earthquake, a tsunami, and nuclear fallout.

I didn't list the above in any particular order of significance or impact, and there are definitely a number of additional events that could be added to my short list. One of these items also squirms out of the frozen tundra of Michigan politics – an emergency manager bill. This one completely baffles me.

From what I understand, the bill (already passed by the state senate and house) gives the governor the power to declare "financial emergency" in a school district, or even in a town. In doing so he would then appoint an emergency manager empowered "to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, and eliminate services." Imagine that, an appointed henchman can walk into some district and go carte blanche on the place.

It gets better. Apparently the bill provides for no public oversight or input – not only was an amendment proposing monthly public updates voted down, but all action by the Manager is omitted from public overturn. Oh, and there is no cap on the financial compensation given to the Manager for his/her service. I find it ironic that an overseer, brought in for the express purpose of correcting financial misappropriation is exempt from personal budget.

Like Jacob S., every time I start to get on the State's rights train, something like this pops up and terrifies me. How can a state legislator pass a law like this without having a vote by the public?


Jacob S. said...

What do you have against UVU?

Shawn O. said...

Who said that they aren't in my top 3?