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A quick look at Michigan's 6 statewide ballot proposals

11:43 AM, Nov 5, 2012   |    comments
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(WZZM) - It can be argued that the biggest issues facing Michigan voters in November isn't who wins the presidential or senate races, but what gets decided on six ballot proposals.

In this article, we hope to present to you what the six proposals are, what they mean, who are behind them, and who is against them.  We'll be adding more content as to what groups are suporting or opposing the proposals as that information comes out.  We'll also be fact checking the ads of those in support and opposition of the proposals in coming weeks.

If there are any other prominent West Michigan supporters or opponents of the ballot proposals, please let us know.  We'll be adding to those lists daily as more people and organizations make their voices known.  Send them to news@wzzm13.com and include "Ballot Proposals" in the subject line.

Also, take a look at our Oct. 31 story of who is paying for the proposal ads HERE.

Proposal 1 - Proposal 2 - Proposal 3 - Proposal 4 - Proposal 5 - Proposal 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposal 1

What you will see on the ballot (Source: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Stand_Up_for_Democracy_396199_7.pdf )

REFERENDUM ON PUBLIC ACT 4 OF 2011 - THE EMERGENCY MANAGER LAW

Public Act 4 of 2011 would:

  • Establish criteria to assess the financial condition of local government units, including school districts.
  • Authorize Governor to appoint an emergency manager (EM) upon state finding of a financial emergency, and allow the EM to act in place of local government officials.
  • Require EM to develop financial and operating plans, which may include modification or termination of contracts, reorganization of government, and determination of expenditures, services, and use of assets until the emergency is resolved.
  • Alternatively, authorize state-appointed review team to enter into a local government approved consent decree.

Should this law be approved? (Yes or No)

Those who support voting Yes (Source: Detroit Free Press/WZZM)
Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Republican Party
Gov. Rick Snyder
Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
Detroit Free Press
Grand Rapids Press

Those who support voting No (Source: Detroit Free Press/WZZM)
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
Rainbow PUSH Detroit
Sugar Law Center
NAACP Detroit
Michigan Democratic Party
 

Reasons to vote Yes (Source: Detroit Free Press)
The law allows state officials to identify financial crises in local governments and schools while there is still an opportunity to take corrective action or directly intervene to restore solvency.

Without the law, local governments and school districts in financial distress could go bankrupt, affecting taxpayers beyond the reach of that city or school district.

Reasons to vote No (Source: Detroit Free Press)
It would end the ability of emergency managers to unilaterally modify or terminate contracts with public employee unions, as provided in the 2011 rewrite of the previous law.

It possibly could end the state's right to appoint emergency managers all together, restoring the authority of locally elected officials to manage the affairs of a city or school district.

Proposal 2

What you will see on the ballot: (Source - http://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/9-7-2012_Approved_POJ_Ballot_Language_397372_7.pdf)

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION REGARDING COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

This proposal would:

  • Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions.
  • Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees' financial support of their labor unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking.
  • Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements.
  • Define "employer" as a person or entity employing one or more employees.

Should this proposal be approved? (Yes or No)

WZZM Analysis

Fact checking an anti-Proposal 2 ad - Part 1

Fact checking pro-Proposal 2 ad - Part 2

Analysis from the Detroit Free Press:
If approved, it will transfer authority to set limits on public sector bargaining from the governor and Legislature to the bargaining units themselves and whomever is on the other side of the table. In the process, dozens of state laws regulating everything from school calendars (like the recent law that moved the opening of public schools to after Labor Day) to competitive bidding for health insurance would be nullified or neutralized.

Its supporters claim, this will end political interference from Lansing in labor relations.

Opponents argue that it would result in a massive power shift to union leaders who will use it to drive up costs to taxpayers, and drive business away. Any progress Michigan has made in shedding its image as a rust-belt anachronism will be lost, they say.

Those who support voting Yes: (Source - Detroit Free Press/WZZM)
AFL-CIO
UAW
MEA
AFT
AFSCME
Teamsters
Michigan Democratic Party

Those who support voting No: (Source - Detroit Free Press)
Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan
Business Leaders For Michigan
Detroit Regional Chamber
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Association of Realtors
Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Manufacturers Association
Small Business Association of Michigan
West Michigan Policy Forum
Michigan Association of School Boards
Michigan Association of School Administrators
Gov. Rick Snyder
Michigan Republican Party
Detroit Free Press
Grand Rapids Press

Proposal 3

What you will see on the ballot: (Source: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Michigan_Energy_Michigan_Jobs_396200_7.pdf)

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ESTABLISH A STANDARD FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

This proposal would:

  • Require electric utilities to provide at least 25% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources, which are wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower, by 2025.
  • Limit to not more than 1% per year electric utility rate increases charged to consumers only to achieve compliance with the renewable energy standard.
  • Allow annual extensions of the deadline to meet the 25% standard in order to prevent rate increases over the 1% limit.
  • Require the legislature to enact additional laws to encourage the use of Michigan made equipment and employment of Michigan residents.

Should this proposal be approved? (Yes or No)

Those supporting a vote Yes (Source: Detroit Free Press/WZZM)
Michigan Land Use Institute
Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association
Natural Resources Defense Council
United Auto Workers
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero
Former President Bill Clinton

Those supporting a vote No (Source: Detroit Free Press & WZZM)
Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Electric Cooperatives Association
Michigan Electric & Gas Association
Michigan State Utility Workers Council
Detroit Regional Chamber
Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
Detroit Free Press
Grand Rapids Press

WZZM Analysis

Fact checking a Pro-Proposal 3 ad

Fact checking an Anti-Proposal 3 ad

Reasons to vote Yes (Detroit Free Press)

It's important for the environment because it will result in a reduction in burning fossil fuels to produce electricity.

It will translate into $10 billion of new investments and at least 74,000 new jobs, while costing each household no more than $1.25 each month, according to advocates.

Reasons to vote No (Detroit Free Press)

It's an unrealistic target to achieve without a huge cost to ratepayers - as much as $12 billion, say opponents.

It would add to unnecessary clutter to the state Constitution.

 
Proposal 4

What you will see on the ballot: (Source: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Citizens_for_Affordable_Quality_Home_Care_396204_7.pdf)

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ESTABLISH THE MICHIGAN QUALITY HOME CARE COUNCIL AND PROVIDE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR IN-HOME CARE WORKERS

This proposal would:

  • Allow in-home care workers to bargain collectively with the Michigan Quality Home Care Council (MQHCC).
  • Continue the current exclusive representative of in-home care workers until modified in accordance with labor laws.
  • Require MQHCC to provide training for in-home care workers, create a registry of workers who pass background checks, and provide financial services to patients to manage the cost of in-home care.
  • Preserve patients' rights to hire in-home care workers who are not referred from the MQHCC registry who are bargaining unit members.
  • Authorize the MQHCC to set minimum compensation standards and terms and conditions of employment.

Should this proposal be approved? (Yes or No)

Those advocating a Yes vote (Source: Detroit Free Press/WZZM)
Area Agencies on Aging
Michigan Disability Rights Coalition
Metropolitan Detroit Council of Senior Citizens
Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America

Those advocating a No vote (Source: Detroit Free Press & WZZM)
Michigan Republican Party
Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan
Business Leaders For Michigan
Detroit Regional Chamber
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Association of Realtors
Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Manufacturers Association
West Michigan Policy Forum
Gov. Rick Snyder
Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
Detroit Free Press
Grand Rapids Press

Analysis from the Detroit Free Press

This relatively low-profile proposal is in many ways a mini version of Proposal 2. A retaliatory move by a single labor union (SEIU) to stymie efforts by the Legislature and governor over the last 18 months to undo a convoluted arrangement by which people receiving federal payment for in-home care were defined as public employees and unionized in 2004-05. Service Employees International Union has been fighting a multi-front battle ever since to maintain the arrangement, which nets about $6 million a year in union dues taken from the checks of the home health care workers (many of them relatives of the patients they are caring for).

Proposal 5

What you will see on the ballot (Source - http://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/Michigan_Alliance_for_Prosperity_396202_7.pdf )

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO LIMIT THE ENACTMENT OF NEW TAXES BY STATE GOVERNMENT

This proposal would:

  • Require a 2/3 majority vote of the State House and the State Senate, or a statewide vote of the people at a November election, in order for the State of Michigan to impose new or additional taxes on taxpayers or expand the base of taxation or increasing the rate of taxation.
  • This section shall in no way be construed to limit or modify tax limitations otherwise created in this Constitution.

Should this proposal be approved? (Yes or No)

Those advocating a Yes vote (Source: Detroit Free Press)

Michigan Alliance for Prosperity
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard
Wayne County Taxpayers Association
The effort to get the measure on the ballot is funded almost entirely by Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun.

Those advocating a No vote (Source: Detroit Free Press & WZZM)
Gov. Rick Snyder
Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Municipal League
Michigan Education Association
United Auto Workers
Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
Grand Valley Metropolitan Counci
Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell
Mark Murray, President of Meijer, Inc.
Steve Heacock, Spectrum Health
Detroit Free Press
Grand Rapids Press

Reasons to vote Yes (Source: Detroit Free Press)

It would make it more difficult for legislators to raise taxes.
It would make Michigan tax system more predictable.

Reasons to vote No (Source: Detroit Free Press)
It thwarts majority rule.
It complicates changes to any tax.

Proposal 6

What you will see on the ballot: (Source: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/sos/The_People_Should_Decide_396198_7.pdf)

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION REGARDING CONSTRUCTION OF INTERNATIONAL BRIDGES AND TUNNELS

This proposal would:

  • 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 expend state funds or resources for acquiring land, designing, soliciting bids for, constructing, financing, or promoting new international bridges or tunnels.
  • Create a definition of "new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles" that means, "any bridge or tunnel which is not open to the public and serving traffic as of January 1, 2012."

Should this proposal be approved? (Yes or No)

Those advocating a Yes vote: (Source - Detroit Free Press)

Detroit International Bridge Co. (Ambassador Bridge owners)
The People Should Decide
Teamsters Local 299

Those advocating a No vote: (Source - Detroit Free Press)
Gov. Rick Snyder
Detroit Regional Chamber
Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
Detroit Free Press
Grand Rapids Press

Analysis from the Detroit Free Press
The owners of the Ambassador Bridge, businessman Manuel (Matty) Moroun and his family, are behind this initiative to block construction of a rival new bridge between Detroit and Windsor, the New International Trade Crossing. Gov. Rick Snyder and Canadian officials signed an agreement in June to build the bridge. NITC likely would draw significant traffic and toll revenue away from the Ambassador, potentially costing the Morouns millions of dollars a year. The Moroun family launched this ballot proposal as a last-ditch effort to block construction of the rival NITC.

By requiring a statewide and local vote to approve international crossings, the Morouns could preserve their monopoly by delaying the start of the NITC until a future vote, and possibly win a future campaign to block it entirely.

Critics including Gov. Snyder and many state business and labor groups denounce Proposal 6 as a blatant attempt by the Moroun family to protect their profits. They say burdening the constitution with a new layer of red tape would hinder the ability to construct new infrastructure in the state.

Contrary to what the Morouns' blizzard of advertising warns, law professors and advertising experts asked by the Free Press to examine the issue are unanimous that the NITC will not cost Michigan taxpayers any money.

If the proposal passes, backers of NITC may go to court to challenge whether it would apply to NITC, the cost of which will be carried by Canada and the U.S. government.

 

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