by Kenneth E. Grabowski
WOW! What a roller-coaster the last few weeks have been. The legislative session has been extremely busy, and the unnecessary attacks on police officers and other public employees continue. As of April 10th, P.A. 312 appears to be surviving the legislative onslaught. While several misinformed House Representatives are attempting to repeal P.A. 312, POAM representatives have been able to educate enough elected officials to slow down the anti-312 steamroller. On February 23, 2011, POAM sponsored our Annual Legislative Reception where many members of the House and Senate came and discussed the issue. POAM has been working the back corridors of Lansing, working with Republicans and Democrats alike, promoting the issues of police officers and protecting legislation that has worked well for public safety for over 40 years. POAM does not promote threats or publicity stunts to communicate our message. We will continue to work diligently behind the scenes to secure our future. Governor Snyder stepped up to the plate and kept his word when he publicly came out against the 312 repeal. On other legislation, it was unfortunate that legislators did ram through the Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) bill with very little changes. The bill gives the EFM extraordinary powers to run local units of government and modify contractual benefits. We were especially dis- appointed that non-economic rights such as grievance procedure, senior- ity, etc. were left unprotected. However, we are pleased that State Trea- surer Andy Dillon named POAM Business Manager William Birdseye to a panel to present the position of police officers working under control of an EFM. POAM is most disappointed in too many legislators that have asked for our financial support and endorsement, as well as working with them on their legislative agenda and election campaigns and then thrown com- mon sense out the window by passing legislation because “We have to do something.” It does not matter if the legislation makes sense or hurts police officers. POAM is considering the establishment of a new legisla- tive award to be presented at our annual convention called “The Willard.” The “Willard” will be awarded to legislators who have become “rats” and are not worthy of our support. Call me with your thoughts or nomina- tions. Please review the additional legislation proposed below and call, write and e-mail your legislators voicing your strong opposition to these anti- police bills. By accessing poam.net, your message can be sent to 138 politicians with three clicks of the mouse. Every member should also be providing our office with a valid e-mail address so we can notify you when a “Legislative Emergency Call to Action” is required. Your partici- pation has worked so far, but more will be needed in the future.