A look at Michigan’s ballot proposals
There are 6 proposals in this year's election.
By MICHAEL PALAZZOLO, Guest Writer
When Election Day rolls around on November 6th, political seats such as President and Senator won’t be the only major choices to make this year. The state of Michigan has 6 proposals on the ballot.
Proposals are important because they change physical and social aspects of the state. It is just as much of a privilege to vote on a proposal as it is to vote for President. The problem is that they are worded very tricky, and can be a little hard to decipher.
It’s not required to vote on proposals, but if you intend to do so it is helpful to know what exactly it is you are voting on. The following list summarizes each proposal with some help from Mlive.com and Ballotpedia.org.
Proposal 1, or the Michigan Emergency Manager Referendum, is being referred to simply as “the emergency manager law.”
Voting Yes on this proposal would allow the Governor to appoint an emergency financial manager in cases of a financial emergency at the local level, which includes cities and school districts. Voting No would not grant this power to be given to the Governor.
Supporters for this law argue that the proposal ensures that local governments remain financially stable. Opposition argues that it gives the Governor too much power, and takes away the city’s right to decide what is best for its citizens.
Proposal 2 is known as the “protect our jobs” amendment. The proposal would amend the state constitution regarding collective bargaining.
Voting Yes would grant the right to all employees to bargain collectively through labor unions, and would override state laws regarding conditions of employment. In summary, it allows all employees to join a labor union that would negotiate for their rights. Voting No would not put collective bargaining in place.
Supporters argue that people have the right to join a union, and that the law protects things such as hours and minimum wage. Opposition argues that it would create powerful union bosses and make wages uncontrollable over the next couple of years.
Known as the “renewable energy amendment”, this proposal would establish a standard for renewable energy.
Voting Yes would put Michigan on pace to have 25% of its energy come from renewable sources (wind, biomass, hydro-power, solar) by the year 2025. It also would encourage Michigan made equipment to be used and the employment of Michigan residents for new jobs. Voting No would allow energy sources to get energy from anywhere they like.
Supporters argue that this law would create new jobs and invest money in relevant places. It would also of course make Michigan greener and environmentally friendly. Opposition argues that this law does not belong in the state constitution and that the mandates given are too hard to meet by 2025.
This is known as the “Michigan home health care amendment.” This proposal would establish the “Michigan Quality Home Care Council” and provide collective bargaining for home care workers.
Voting Yes would require Michigan home care workers to require to be certified and require them to pass a background check. Voting No would allow home care workers to continue working without some certifications and no required background check.
Supporters argue that this proposal would create a safe environment for patients in the home care system and provide better care. Opposition argues that this proposal is not the right way to innovate home care and violates citizen’s rights.
Known as the “Michigan Taxation Amendment”, this proposal would limit the enactment of new taxes by state government.
Voting Yes would require a 2/3-majority vote in the state house and state senate or a statewide vote by the people to impose new taxes. Voting No would keep the current process to impose new taxes in place.
Supporters argue that the proposal would give lawmakers and special interest groups a chance to make their case to the taxpayers instead of finding another solution. Opposition argues that this would make it difficult for necessary policy changes to be made in Michigan.
Known as the “International Bridge Initiative”, this proposal would amend the state constitution regarding building of international bridges and tunnels.
Voting Yes would require a separate election to determine if a international new bridge or tunnel should be built in the state of Michigan. Voting No would allow building of international bridges or tunnels to commence without a statewide approval.
If you plan to vote on this proposal, you may need to look into the background of its origins and see why it is on the ballot before you make a decision. Supporters argue that the current bridge that is to be built connecting the United States and Canada does not benefit Michigan and that the bridge should not be built.
Opposition argues that voting Yes would protect a monopoly for the man that owns the Ambassador Bridge, and it would also restrict transportation between the United States and Canada.