Home Rule Cities Act (Michigan) - History

History

Local units of government in the United States are created by the various states. Such local governments may go by various names in the several states. It is entirely possible for a state to totally abolish any or all local units of government. In the case of Michigan, the state government is specifically restricted under the state's constitution as to how it may interact with local governments and may not alter the boundaries of a local government without a vote by the affected residents.

The Home Rule City Act resulted from the provisions of the 1908 state constitution, which called for home rule authority to be conferred upon the various local governments in the state. The 1963 state constitution retained these same home rule provisions.

Both constitutions recognized the fundamental integrity of counties, townships, cities, and villages in Michigan. Local governments could no longer be created, abolished, or consolidated without the consent of the electors who reside within the affected territory. Prior to this time, local governments had been created by a special act of the legislature which did not require any consent from those living within the affected territory.

Under Michigan’s Revised Statutes of 1848, there were several classes of cities, the primary distinction among which was population. In nearly every case, however, it was the legislature that had provided a city charter for each city that mandated how each city was to be governed and how its officers were to be chosen. Under the Home Rule City Act, each city was given the ability to make changes to its city charter on its own. The charters that had been previously granted by the legislature continued in force until such time as an affected city took this action. All cities in Michigan are now classified under one class, namely, Home Rule Cities, regardless of the source or origin of the various provisions of their respective city charters.

Read more about this topic:  Home Rule Cities Act (Michigan)

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