(WXYZ) - On Tuesday, November 6, Michigan voters will go to the polls to approve or oppose six ballot proposals.
If passed, five of them could cement new laws into our state constitution, and one of them would repeal a law barely a year old.
Voters would be wise to take time before Election Day to study the wordy proposals. Here’s a brief look at what each ballot initiative would do.
Proposal 1 is a referendum on Public Act 4, the emergency manager law that was passed by the Legislature and signed by into law by Governor Snyder in 2011. It was designed to help financially struggling cities and school systems get back on track. Opponents of Proposal 1 believe it is unconstitutional because it disenfranchises local voters. Stand Up for Democracy collected enough signatures to get the proposal on the ballot.
A “yes” vote on Proposal 1 would keep the law in place. A “no” vote would repeal the law.
Proposal 2 would amend Michigan’s Constitution to guarantee that collective bargaining rights would be protected for public and private employees and remove restrictions on what could be included in collective bargaining agreements. Supporters of the Protect Working Families coalition include many of Michigan’s largest labor unions.
Opponents of Proposal 2 include Governor Rick Snyder and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. A political action group called Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution says the constitution should not be changed for special interest groups.
Proposal 3 is commonly referred to as“25 by 25.” It would amend the Michigan Constitution to require that at least 25 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable resources by 2025. The renewable resources could include wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower. Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs says the proposal will create at least 74,000 jobs.
Care (Clean Affordable Renewable Energy for Michigan), which is supported by several big utilities, believes Proposal 3 is too expensive and says the Great Lakes State is already on the right path for a clean energy future due to a state law enacted in 2008.
Proposal 4 would amend the Michigan Constitution to establish the Michigan Quality Home Health Care Council, which would be required to provide information to consumers, train providers, and continue limited collective bargaining rights for in-home workers that are due to expire.
Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care is the organization behind Proposal 4 appearing on the ballot. The primary opposition is Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution.
Proposal 5 would change the Michigan Constitution to require a two-thirds vote of the State House and Senate or a statewide vote of the people in a November election to increase taxes or create new ones.
Supporters of Proposal 5, led by Americans for Prosperity, believe Michigan taxes are too high and that having a two-thirds vote requirement is appropriate for dealing with taxes. Opponents, led by a diverse coalition called Defend Michigan Democracy, say Proposal 5 would make it too easy for billionaire Matty Maroun and other special interests to control our Legislature.
Proposal 6 would amend the State Constitution to require the approval of a majority of voters at a statewide election, and in each municipality where new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles are to be located, before the State of Michigan may spend any state funds or resources to build any new international bridges or tunnels.
A coalition called The People Should Decide is responsible for getting Proposal 6 on the ballot and believes Michigan residents have the right to hear the arguments from both sides of the debate and decide if it is a wise use of taxpayer money to design, build, operate, and maintain a government bridge.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and a broad coalition of Michigan businesses oppose Proposal 6. The say it is a delay tactic by billionaire Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Maroun to abuse the Michigan Constitution and provide protection for his monopoly.
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