Chicago Tribune: Michigan governor signs emergency managers bill

March 16, 2011- Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill giving broad new powers to emergency financial managers appointed by the state of Michigan to run struggling cities and schools, including the ability to terminate union contracts.

The Republican governor signed the bill Wednesday, the same day that thousands of union protesters rallied inside and outside the Capitol to protest the bill and others they say are anti-union.

Snyder says the six bills he signed will let the state offer assistance earlier when local governments are in financial distress, instead of waiting until they're on the brink of bankruptcy and give financial managers better tools.

Many Democrats and labor unions say it's a state power grab that could set up virtual dictatorships and strip power from local elected officials.

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