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Information About the Michigan 2012 Ballot Proposals

Renewable Energy, Home Help Providers, Taxes, Bridges and More

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The 2012 Ballot in Michigan will include six state proposals, five of which that would amend the Michigan Constitution. While the legalization of marijuana didn't make the ballot, there are some important issues to consider. The six proposals are listed below, along with information about the organizations that proposed and oppose them.

Prop-1: Approve Emergency Manager Law

Stand Up For Democracy, through Prop-1, invoked the right of referendum for the Emergency Financial Manager Law. In other words, Prop-1 gives the people of Michigan the chance to approve or reject 2011 PA 4. The 2011 law allows the governor to declare a local government or school district in financial distress and appoint an emergency manager to take control. Under the 2011 law, the emergency manager can be given the power to terminate contracts (read labor contracts).

The proposal was put on the ballot by Stand Up For Democracy so that the 2011 law could be repealed (a "NO" vote on the proposal). According to an article posted on MLive.com, Truth Squad Special Report, the organization is mainly funded by labor and disability groups.

The proposal (or opportunity to repeal the 2011 law) is opposed by the Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility. In other words, Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility argue for the approval of the 2011 law.

Mackinac Center for Public Policy notes: An older version of the law from 1990 would govern if the 2011 law is not approved, and the older law doesn't give the emergency manager as much power.

Prop-2: Safeguard Collective Bargaining Powers

Protect Our Jobs would amend the Michigan Constitution through Prop-2 to protect the right of the people in the State of Michigan to establish unions and bargain collectively with employers regarding their conditions of employment.

The proposal is backed by Protect our Jobs, an organization mainly funded by labor unions.

The proposal is opposed by Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution, a group that argues that the proposal would give too much power to union bosses. It is also opposed by Michigan Freedom to Work PAC, an organization that "confirms the right of every American to work for a living without being compelled to affiliate with a union."

Mackinac Center for Public Policy notes: The proposal could allow union officials to win benefits during collective bargaining that would conflict with (effectively repeal) state laws.

Prop-3: Require Michigan Utilities to Use Renewable Energy

Michigan Energy / Michigan Jobs would amend the Michigan Constitution through Prop-3 to require Michigan utilities to obtain at least 25% of their electricity from wind, solar, biomass and hydropower sources by 2025.

The proposal is backed by Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs, which argues that passage of the proposal would create thousands of jobs for Michigan workers and attract $10.3 billion in new investments.

The proposal is opposed by Care for Michigan, which is mainly funded by the state's utilities. Care for Michigan argues that the proposal is expensive, reckless, short sighted and vague. The proposal is also opposed by Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution, a group that argues that the proposal will increase energy costs dramatically.

Prop-4: Continue Union for Home Help Providers

Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care would amend the Michigan Constitution through Prop-4 to establish the Michigan Quality Home Council, provide certain information to consumers, require training of providers, and provide limited collective bargaining.

The proposal is backed by Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care, a group funded by labor and disability rights groups.

The proposal is opposed by Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution, a group that argues that independent home help care workers are not state employees; therefore, the SEIU (union) should not be able to deduct union dues from checks the workers receive from Medicaid.

Mackinac Center for Public Policy notes: The proposal is an effort by the existing home-care union to override two 2012 laws that would effectively end its ability to deduct union dues from the Medicaid checks of disabled adults. The two laws recognize the fact that home help providers are not public employees and therefore not subject to unionization by government employee unions.

Prop-5: Curtail the Michigan Legislature's Ability to Raise Taxes

The Michigan Alliance for Prosperity would amend the Michigan Constitution through Prop-5 to prohibit the imposition of new or additional taxes or expansion of the base of taxation by the State of Michigan unless approved by 2/3 majority of members in each chamber of the legislature or by a statewide vote of the people.

The proposal is backed by the Michigan Alliance for Prosperity, which is funded mainly through organizations affiliated with “Matty” Moroun.

The proposal is opposed by Defend Michigan Democracy, a group funded by health care, senior citizens, labor and nonprofit groups. Defend Michigan Democracy argues that the proposal is an effort by Moroun to protect existing tax policies.

Prop-6: Curtail State's Authority to Build International Bridges or Tunnels

The People Should Decide would amend the Michigan Constitution through Prop-6 to require a vote of the people before the State of Michigan can construct or finance new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles.

The proposal is backed by The People Should Decide, a group mainly funded through Moroun companies. The People Should Decide argues that people of Michigan should weigh in about the bridge because Michigan tax dollars could be better used elsewhere.

The proposal is opposed by New International Trade Crossing that argues that the group that initiated the proposal is almost entirely funded by the Moroun company that owns the Ambassador Bridge.

Sources:

Statewide Ballot Proposal Status / State of Michigan

The Truth Squad Special Report as posted on MLive.com

Michigan Ballot Proposals / The Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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