UPDATE: Michigan passes ‘financial martial law’ bill

Michigan legislators have approved a bill authorizing state-appointed emergency financial managers to break union contracts that struggling cities and school districts have with their workers.

Following up on the state Senate’s passage of the bill last week, the House passed the bill 62-48 on Tuesday, sending the legislation to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder for final approval. Snyder, who asked for the expanded powers for emergency financial managers, is expected to sign the bill into law.

Supporters say the bill gives the state a way to step into distressed municipalities and schools before they collapse. It also gives emergency financial managers broad authority to end employee union contracts, and to nullify elected boards and councils.

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