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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder laid out his plans to force encourage local municipalities and agencies to consolidate services to become more efficient. He's going so far as to withhold state revenue-sharing funds to force their hand.

Gov. Rick Snyder called Monday for local government employees to pay at least 20% of their health insurance premiums, and for less expensive retirement plans as a condition for communities to get some of their revenue-sharing money.

In a statement on government reform at Grand Rapids City Hall, he also proposed ways to make it easier for communities to merge police, fire and other services without violating state labor laws.

Snyder's budget would cut revenue sharing by about $100 million -- an effective reduction of 10% for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. He would distribute nearly $200 million in revenue sharing based on local governments' willingness to cut costs and make their spending more visible to the public.

Snyder said the change, which needs legislative approval, will prod communities toward spending reform.

"The goal here isn't to punish people, it's to reward success and create a new culture based on best practices," Snyder said.

Sounds great, right?

Here's the rub. At the same time, the Republicans in the state House and Senate are moving to make it easier for consolidating groups to jettison union contracts.

[U]nder the bills -- HB 4309, HB 4310, HB 4311 and HB 4312 -- local government officials who are consolidating services aren't obliged to honor the labor contracts of the prior working arrangement, meaning some previously bargained benefits could be eliminated.

So Rick Snyder is out front, saying all the right things -- things that sound great and wonderful and logical. Meanwhile, in the background, the state Congressional Republicans are doing the dirty work that strips union members of their rights to collective bargaining.

Sound familiar?

It should.

I'm just sayin'...

Cross-posted at

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 05:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Michigan, My Michigan.

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