Howes: What’s the fix, labor, if EM law dies?

By Daniel Howes, The Detroit News

Public Act 4, Michigan’s controversial emergency manager law, lives — for now.

The 2-2 vote Thursday by the Board of State Canvassers bars the labor-backed referendum from the November ballot, prompting angry backers of repeal to vow they will litigate the decision in state court. Meaning hopes are evaporating that Michigan and Gov. Rick Snyder can avoid a Wisconsin-style confrontation with Big Labor this year.

Too much is at stake — for unions in one of the nation’s quintessential union states, for Democrats whose influence and electoral cash disproportionately flow from labor, for Republicans trying to retain power two years after gaining it, for taxpayers generally opposed to paying more to maintain union benefits, and for business leaders eager to shed Michigan’s Big Labor rep.

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