The Craig Fahle Show

Is Lansing Punishing The DIA?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Photo courtesy of Crain's Detroit Business

“What is the point of this bill?”

Craig asks about HB 5571, the measure that would prevent the Detroit Institute of Arts from renewing its $23 million millage, passed two years ago by voters in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

Rep. Ken Goike (R-Ray Township) introduced the bill, one of 11 that the state House passed May 22 as part of the “grand bargain.” That’s the agreement that includes the DIA raising $100 million and foundations contributing $366 million to provide funding for Detroit pensions in exchange for the museum’s collection not being sold off to creditors during the city’s bankruptcy proceedings. The state’s contribution, made possible by others in the package of legislation, is $195 million out of Michigan’ “rainy day fund.”

Craig, like many of the lawmakers who opposed the legislation in the 66-44 House vote, believes the DIA-focused bill is designed to “punish” the museum.

He says:

“This was put before voters in Macomb County, and just because you don’t like the results doesn’t mean that you should prevent voters from deciding once again whether or not they want to support the DIA … what happened here was an exercise in democracy. People in the county voted. Yes, it was a close vote, but they voted to tax themselves to support the Detroit Institute of Arts.”

However, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is celebrating state lawmakers passing a series of proposals designed to help the city emerge from bankruptcy.