Tag archive for Michigan

Detroit pension debt under any other name is still…

… debt. That’s what Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr and city officials contend in their lawsuit which seeks to overturn a 2005 financial maneuver that pumped $1.44 billion into the city’s pension system.Playing hardball, Detroit has now subpoenaed The Bond Buyer trade publication, seeking records related to the publication’s subsequent decision to award the administration of then mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the highly controversial transaction the Midwest Deal of the Year in 2005. Alas, there are a few others the city is probably also talking to who took bows back then for the deal…

A state bailout for Detroit? Been there, done that.

While the prospect for a federal bailout for Detroit remains dim, calls for Michigan state government to provide more help, and accusations that the state is somehow responsible for the city’s plight, haven’t let up. But those making the case for a state bailout are …

Kevyn Orr contra mundum

Kevyn Orr is obviously not from the public sector.
Since being appointed Detroit’s emergency manager in March, Orr has made enemies all over town and beyond. He’s set credit markets on edge with his threat of severe haircuts to general obligation bonds. Labor probably detests him even more. …

Michigan cities face huge retiree health care liability

As Steve Eide notes below, post-employment benefits, namely retiree health care promises, make up a big part of Detroit’s debt. But Detroit is not alone. A new study by two Michigan State University fiscal experts finds that 311 of the state’s municipalities representing two-thirds of …

Trends and tea leaves in the BLS’ annual unionization report

In light of the new labor laws in place in Indiana (2012), Michigan (2012) and Wisconsin (2011), at least for the time being, the BLS’ annual unionization report takes on new importance. Now there will be data to inform policy debates that have been hitherto …

Revenge of the nerd

Rick Snyder, the “tough nerd” Republican Governor of Michigan, is easily one of the most determined advocates of good government in America today. After voters in November rejected his “Public Act 4,” a law that strengthened the process by which Michigan dealt with municipal insolvency, he quickly bounced back, and passed a replacement law shortly after Christmas. 

Do unions give members their money’s worth?

One reason that labor’s opponents have made headway on issues like right to work is because of a growing sense even within the union movement that members are not getting their money’s worth from their sometimes expensive union dues. In 2011 I wrote about a …

Government unions may be big losers in Michigan

The press is playing the Michigan labor battle as significant because the state is home to the United Auto Workers and is considered a cradle of unionization. But private sector union rates have sunk to about 12 percent of the workforce in Michigan. Meanwhile, however, …

Teachers Skip School To Protest Michigan Right-to-Work

Teachers at a number of school districts in Michigan have called in sick so that they can travel to Lansing to protest the vote on Right-to-Work. At least Warren Consolidated Schools, the Taylor School District, and Fitzgerald Public Schools are closed today as a substantial number of their teachers march on Lansing.

Michigan passes right to work law

The Michigan state house and senate passed right to work bills yesterday. Both chambers quickly adopted measures forbidding unions in the private sector from requiring workers who do not join the union to pay agency fees. (The state senate also passed a measure banning agency …