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Snyder would like committee to oversee Detroit finances post-bankruptcy

Gov. Rick Snyder
Governor Rick Snyder delivering his State of the State address Wednesday night.

Gov. Rick Snyder says he’s sensing progress in negotiations with the Legislature to put $350 million of state money toward Detroit’s bankruptcy settlement. That money would help fund pensions and ensure the assets of the Detroit Institute of Arts don’t get put up for auction.

Snyder says the bargain has to include an end to legal challenges to the bankruptcy. He would also like to have a financial oversight panel to help manage the city’s finances post-bankruptcy.

“I think there’s more than one way it could be done, but if it gives legislators more confidence in the settlement to make sure it’s going to be complied with, I’m very open to that and that’s their prerogative,” said Snyder.

But there are also groups lobbying against the deal.

“We’ll be educating citizens of Michigan in a lot of places,” said Scott Hagerstrom of the conservative organization Americans for Prosperity. “We think there needs to be a very bright line in the sand, so that the citizens of Michigan know where the people who want to be policymakers for them in Lansing stand.”

Hagerstrom says aid for Detroit, as well as the Medicaid expansion and transportation taxes, could be issues in party primaries, as well as the general election.

Gov. Snyder says he hopes the Legislature will vote on the Detroit bailout in May or early June.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.