Detroit consent agreement questions answered in MSU Extension FAQ

New MSU Extension Frequently Asked Questions bulletin helps Michigan residents understand Detroit’s fiscal issues, the steps taken to address the crisis, and many of the details of new consent agreement between the city and the state of Michigan.

On March 4, the Detroit City Council voted to accept the consent agreement negotiated with the State of Michigan that gives a financial panel broad authority to address the fiscal crisis the city currently faces. While Detroit is the most visible city facing financial crisis, it is not the only city in Michigan or in the U.S. wrestling with these same tough decisions. In Michigan, there are a handful of communities already working under consent agreements or Emergency Managers and Detroit's agreement is similar to one formed the 1970s in New York City.

What is a consent agreement? What does this agreement mean for the City of Detroit and its residents? What does it mean for the State of Michigan?

The 53-page Detroit agreement, while allowing city officials to retain their powers, gives operating and budgeting powers to a new nine-member financial advisory board, chief financial officer and program management director.

Michigan State University Extension has developed the second bulletin in the series, “Frequently Asked Questions: City of Detroit Financial Stability Agreement (pdf).” This informational bulletin provides residents with answers to these and other questions about P.A. 4, the law governing cities and school districts in fiscal crisis. The FAQ outlines all the steps required and actions available to stabilize Detroit and get the city back on track to financial sustainability. Where the first FAQ bulletin discussed the legality of Acts, and information on the outlines of a possible consent agreement, the new bulletin was crafted after all details of the agreement were in place and it was approved by Detroit City Council.

All levels of government and residents will play a role in the final outcome of the financial crisis facing the City of Detroit.  The FAQ bulletin will help residents to understand the issues and the legal process of this action.

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