Why did Democrats Vote in Favor of Immediate Effect for Emergency Manager Laws?

Democratic Caucus Chair, Jimmy Womack, does not vote – Dodges Responsibility!



On February 23, the House of Representatives began voting on House Bill 4214 which would later become Public Act 4 of 2011. Republicans hold 63 seats out of 110. Democrats have the other 47 seats. The bill passed on a roll call vote after the third reading with 62 yeas and 47 nays.


Would you be surprised to learn that a republican, Representative Dale Zorn the Assistant Majority Whip from district 56 (Monroe) voted no? He entered into the journal his objection and reason.

It states

“I voted against House Bills 4214-18 and HB 4246, the package to expand the powers of emergency managers, because it gives these appointed managers total control over local boards who are elected by the people. I believe local elected officials, such as city or village council members and school board members, deserve a voice in the process. It is the local elected official, and not an appointed manager with no connection to the community, who knows what is best for their home town or school district.”


A democrat from district 62, Battle Creek, Representative Kate Segal also entered into the record her reasons for voting no. All other republicans voted yes and the rest of the no votes were all democrats.


The sole exception is Representative Jimmy Womack the Democratic Caucus Chair from district 7 (Detroit). He did not vote on this bill. He was not present on the 23rd and therefore could not vote against or rally against immediate effect. As a person in a position of leadership, his presence is crucial in fighting against legislation that is supposed to be unfavorable to the democrats. Why would democrats not fight the emergency manager laws as vocal as they were against the measures?


This again raises the question, why did the democrats not vote against immediate effect for the emergency manager laws? Why did they not have a plan or coordinate their so called opposition? Not having immediate effect would have preserved Benton Harbor and other municipalities across Michigan by some accounts as long as April 2012. However those fighting these laws must battle in court while the governor appoints more emergency managers. These laws are unconstitutional and while this must be proved in the interim people suffer while the democrats and their chair, abdicate their position of leadership.



For a copy of the house journal go to




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