LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court says a referendum on the state's emergency manager law will appear on the November ballot.
Republican Justice Mary Beth Kelly was the crucial vote, joining three Democratic justices.
The decision Friday means voters will decide whether to keep or kill a law that sends powerful emergency managers into distressed communities and school districts to fix their finances.
Governor Rick Snyder issued this statement Friday afternoon:
"While I fully support the right of all citizens to express their views, suspension of the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act may adversely affect Michigan communities and school districts mired in financial emergencies. It promises to make eventual solutions to those emergencies more painful.
"One of the act's primary goals is to identify financial emergencies before they become full-blown crises. Suspending the law limits the state's ability to offer early intervention and assistance, and eliminates important tools that emergency managers need to address financial emergencies as quickly and efficiently as possible.
"Once the petition initiative is certified for the statewide ballot, Public Act 72 of 1990 is revived. This law -- the Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act - will ensure continuity for local units of government currently in financial emergencies. This is critical given the state's responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, regardless of the city in which they live or the school district they attend."
Donald Weatherspoon, the emergency manager of Muskegon Heights Public Schools, issued this statement: "The decision by the Supreme Court today does not stop the progress underway in Muskegon Heights. We have a school district board of education in place to continue the contract established with Mosaica, and we have a charter school board in place to carry out the work of opening high quality schools in September."
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