Michigan Senate Committee Takes Up Grand Bargain Bills

June 3rd, 2014

Now, it’s the Michigan Senate’s turn.

The chamber’s Committee on Government Operations has a 1 p.m. hearing today to consider the state’s portion of the  “Grand Bargain,” the package of bills that provide funding of and oversight for Detroit’s bankruptcy.

The Michigan House passed all 11 bills last month with votes that were far more supportive of the package than many expected. The legislation provides $195 million for Detroit pensions and creates an oversight commission that would have power over city finances. The package also contains a controversial bill preventing the Detroit Institute of Arts from renewing its millage. Following the House passage of the bills, Gov. Rick Snyder refused to say if he would sign that provision. Since it was introduced, museum supporters have been lobbying to remove that provision,

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe), who chairs the committee, has been campaigning for the legislation. Snyder also supports it. Both men were at the Detroit Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference last week where they encouraged audiences to press for support.

Without the state money, the grand bargain goes away meaning the loss of some $466 million of foundation and private funds to support city pensions and protect the DIA artwork from sale.