Detroit News urges Lansing to fund “grand bargain”, Koch Brothers lobby against it

May 2nd, 2014

As Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Gov. Rick Snyder worked this week to convince lawmakers to help fund Detroit’s pensions and protect the Detroit Institute of Arts’ collection, the Michigan chapter of Americans for Prosperity weighed in about the proposal.

Don’t do it, the conservative group said, as reported in MLive.

The conservative group, which has ties to the powerful Koch brothers, expressed its opposition in a letter to lawmakers and launched a new “don’t bail out Detroit’ website encouraging taxpayers to do the same.

“Time and time again, Michigan has rewritten its laws to give Detroit special treatment and more financial assistance,” AFP state director Scott Hagerstrom said in a statement. “Yet all this help seems to have encouraged not corrected bad behavior. Another state bailout will not fix Detroit’s problems.”

But The Detroit News, while giving merit to House Speaker Jase Bolger’s suggestion that unions representing city workers should pitch in, urged the Republican lawmaker to drop that proposal and allow a vote on the grand bargain. The News’ argument was based upon, in part, the belief that Bolger doesn’t have “time to amend a deal” that is scheduled to be sent out for a vote in less than two weeks.

 To think he can do so now, with the deal all but set and the bankruptcy entering a critical final stage, is unrealistic.

Meanwhile, the Detroit Free Press reports that Orr plans to return to Lansing next week when the Republicans will be crafting bills with the appropriation for Detroit.