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Foster Swift’s “PA 4 Team”

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FOCUS: Bond Counsel
John M. Kamins
Foster Swift Municipal Law News
July 2011

Foster Swift is pleased to announce our new "PA 4 Team." This team consists of experienced Foster Swift attorneys focused on helping financially challenged municipalities and school districts, emergency managers, bond trustees, and others understand and use Michigan’s recently enacted Public Act 4.

Technically speaking, PA 4 refers to the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act that Governor Snyder signed into law in March 2011. It superseded a statute commonly called "Act 72" or the "Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act." PA 4 allows earlier intervention and assistance to address financially challenged local governmental units and school districts. It also expands the powers of emergency financial managers compared to Act 72.

PA 4 is certainly not without controversy or legal dispute. Indeed, a pending Ingham County Circuit Court case challenges PA 4’s validity. Elsewhere, some persons are pursuing steps to try to make PA 4 subject to a statewide referendum in the November 2012 general election.

For as long as PA 4 remains on the books as the "law of the land," and as long as local governmental units face financial challenges, Foster Swift’s PA 4 Team stands ready to counsel on the many issues that it can present. Our PA 4 team includes lawyers in several of Foster Swift’s practice areas, including its municipal, municipal bond, public finance, labor and employment, pension and health care benefits, real estate, receivership, bankruptcy, and litigation practices. This wide involvement allows our PA 4 team to counsel on all financial issues facing local governmental units, to help achieve feasible solutions through consent agreements under PA 4 and diverse restructuring activities – operational, contractual, and financial – under Michigan and federal law.

If you are interested in learning more about Foster Swift’s PA 4 Team, please contact John Kamins (248.785.4727 or jkamins@fosterswift.com)