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Expansion of the right to blow stuff up

Governor OKs Michigan fireworks sales expansion ... Michigan used to have a fairly restrictive list of legal fireworks, but apparently those days are over. Great. Just what I wanted. Well, at least I won't complain about the police not enforcing the law anymore. Maybe the actual result won't be as bad as the last few years, where my neighbors shot off just about anything that makes a loud noise and showers sparks everywhere. I really don't like private individuals shooting off fireworks near me. But I suppose that is infringement of their constitutional right to blow shit up. Can't have infringement of that sort of right, can we?

At least more people will be able to sell fireworks here. That's jobs creation, isn't it?



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 16th, 2011 01:16 pm (UTC)
Michigan Governor
What's this I hear about Michigan community emergency manager/dictators? How's that goin' down?
Dec. 16th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Michigan Governor
Michigan has had provisions for an emergency financial manager to be assigned to a city or school district for a number of years, predating the current governor. In 2010 the law governing EFMs was revised to both strengthen the powers of the manager and to lay out a process leading up to one coming to a community. A lot of news reports do not focus on the latter, but it's designed to help cities make the financial adjustments they need to before it's too late and the manager becomes necessary.

Among the powers available to an emergency financial manager are the ability to end contracts with unions, outsource services to private companies, lay off city workers, and make arrangements with other communities to share services. They can do this without the approval of elected officials, who it could be said were not able for whatever reason to take these steps despite known financial problems. The governor appoints an EFM for those cities (and school districts) that are failing to meet financial obligations and meet the criteria for having a "financial emergency." The revised law (presumably) makes the whole process plain.

As of now, four cities and one school district have EFMs, Flint, Pontiac, Benton Harbor, Ecorse, and the Detroit Public Schools. (The city of Detroit itself does not have one at this time.) There is a statewide petition drive underway to put a proposal on the ballot to vote on the law. From what I've read, the governor would probably put a hold on any new EFM appointments if the petition is completed, though existing EFMs would continue to work. The current EFMs serve in areas that have a predominantly minority population. Because of that, opponents say the law unfairly targets minority groups. These places have also had financial issues for a long time, which the recent recession(s) have only made worse.

I hear loudest noises from the opponents, of course. Myself, I don't think the motivation for the law is meant to be punitive, but of course the results are negative -- the EFM's job is not to make anyone happy, really. From what I've heard, the petition drive is going well and we probably will have a chance to vote on it.
Dec. 17th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info -- not sure if any other states have this sort of thing. A lot of power concentration in those positions.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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