Rep. Amanda Price (R-Park Township) hasn’t decided how she’s voting on the package of 11 bills providing Detroit with funding, restructuring and oversight, a staffer in her Lansing office told Next Chapter Detroit. But she did think an informational Town Hall meeting in her west Michigan district was worth scheduling so she could hear from her constituents. Tonight she and Rep. Earl Poleski (R-Jackson) will meet with residents and answer their questions about the legislation that today moved out of committee and to the full House for a vote that could come as soon as tomorrow.
Price told the Grand Haven Tribune:
“I have heard from a number of people with concerns about the state’s role in this process, and that is why we are holding a town hall meeting … The goal of this legislation is to ensure the proper use of state funds, while providing oversight and reform in Detroit so that this situation does not occur again.”
Incidentally, Grand Haven is home to four Detroit retirees with a handful living in adjoining zip codes, according to data provided to the House Committee on Detroit’s Recovery and Michigan’s Future by the Detroit Retired City Employees Association. Price’s staffer did not know if they would be attending.
The legislation provides $197 million of state money in a one-time payment toward Detroit’s pension funds as part of the “Grand Bargain.” That’s the arrangement, engineered by the bankruptcy court mediators, that also has the Detroit Institute of Arts and several foundations contributing $466 million toward pensions. Earlier this week, The Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council announced through the mediators it will contribute money toward the deal. House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) has been calling on unions to provide funds to support the pensions.
-By WDET’s Sandra Svoboda
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