08/24/2012 12:30 pm ET Updated Oct 24, 2012

Michigan Emergency Manager Law Poll Shows 53 Percent Of Voters Support Public Act 4

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Michigan voters largely support a controversial law that gives the state more power to intervene in and run financially troubled cities and school districts, according to a poll released on Friday.

The Detroit News-WDIV-Channel 4 poll found 53 percent of statewide voters would vote to keep the 2011 law, while 33 percent favored repealing it, the newspaper reported.

The poll of 600 likely Michigan voters was conducted Saturday through Monday and has a margin error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, according to the Detroit News.

A referendum on the law, Public Act 4, was certified for the Nov. 6 ballot on Aug. 8 after Stand Up for Democracy, a union-backed coalition seeking to repeal the law, won a prolonged court battle over the type size it used on petitions.

Pending the outcome of the referendum, the law was suspended and state officials said a former, weaker law would be used in its place.

Public Act 4 gave emergency managers appointed by the governor greater powers to run cities and schools, including the ability to suspend collective bargaining agreements.

Credit rating agencies have warned that the suspension or elimination of the law could hurt already financially stressed local governments, including Detroit, which saw its bond ratings hammered lower into the junk category earlier this year.

Detroit, Michigan's biggest city, skirted the appointment of an emergency manager by signing onto a financial stability agreement with the state in April. Parts of that pact depend on Public Act 4. Two other cities also have consent agreements while three school districts and four cities have state-appointed managers. (Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)