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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Michigan Citizens United recall against Governor Rick Snyder, schedules April 29th clarity hearing

Rick SnyderImage via Wikipedia
Michigan Citizens United will have recall
language clarity hearing for Gov. Rick
Snyder (R) before the Washtenaw County Clerk
office on April 29th.

The campaign to recall Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder (R) has hit a number of Southeastern Michigan media resources, including the Detroit News. 

Michigan Citizens United, the grassroots group organizing recall efforts against Governor Snyder, plans to file recall petition language with the Washtenaw County Clerk Office to determine approval. 

The group's Facebook Page "Recall Governor Rick Snyder" has over 12,000 members, angered by measures Snyder announced in his February 17th draconian 2011-12 fiscal budget. Snyder's $47 billion proposal includes $1.2 billion in permanent spending cuts to help deal with a $1.4 billion shortfall in the budget year that starts October 1st include:

  • Adding $1.7 billion to revenues by eliminating tax breaks for low-income workers, phasing out most senior tax breaks and getting rid of many other income tax deductions, such as one for donating to public universities. Personal deductions would be phased out for individuals making at least $75,000 or couples making at least $150,000.
  • Public schools would see a 4 percent cut, or about $470 per student. Intermediate school districts would be cut 5 percent. Many school districts will be face financial ruin with the cuts and, may be subject to a ouster of an local elected school board. With Gov. Snyder having the power to solely appoint an Emergency Financial Manager to run the district instead.
  • Michigan’s 15 public universities would get 15 percent less, hereby increasing tuition to make up for cuts. $83 million would being set aside to be shared with universities that kept tuition increases around 7 percent or less. Community colleges would get the same $296 million they're getting now.
  • Spending on universities and community colleges would be switched from the state's general fund to the school aid fund. School districts have criticized the move, saying it would draw money away from public schools just as the school aid fund begins to again build a surplus that could allow per-pupil payments to rise.
  • Unionized State employees are going to be asked for $180 million in cuts. Health care premiums for those state employees would increase from 10% to 20%, and this is not counting medical deductibles. All of state of Michigan employees, except for K-12 educators, state police and legislative officials, have not received a petition plan since 1998 and are only eligible for 401K or 453B type of retirement programs.
  • Local governments would see their state payments cut. Due a state law barring many local communities and towns from accessing local taxes to increase revenue, operation budgets for those cities would be on the brink of bankruptcy and services like police, fire protection would fall apart. 
  • Eliminating 300 field worker positions in the Department of Human Services, before- and after-school program and, reducing the hourly rates paid to unlicensed aids and relatives in the child day care program.
Paperwork for Michigan Citizens United was filed March 23 by its treasurer, Gail Schmidt and after an approval of the recall language, the group plans on collecting signatures on May 8th

Washtenaw County Clerk, Lawrence Kestenbaum, will hold an April 29 hearing on the clarity of the recall petition language. The commission consists of Kestenbaum, the county treasurer and the chief trial judge. The 11:30 a.m. hearing will be held in the board of commissioners room at 220 N. Main in Ann Arbor.

Governor Snyder’s latest approval numbers has taken downward track, since being sworn into office on January 1, 2011.  A March 22nd Public Policy Poll found, if the November 3rd, 2010 election that placed embattled Snyder into office happened today, Snyder would be defeated by his challenger-Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (D). The poll, with surveyed 502 respondents cited that Bernero would defeat Snyder by a 47-45 percent margin and received a 33% approval rating.  

Michigan Citizens United will try to collect at least 1.1 million signatures to be sure it has 807,000 valid ones that withstand scrutiny. The number of signatures must equal 25 percent of the total votes cast for governor in November 2010 election. The signatures can't be submitted to the state before July 1, 2011, six months after Rick Snyder was sworn into Michigan Governor’s office.

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