What is an initiative petition?
The Michigan Constitution allows the people to initiate legislation through a petition. In order to propose legislation to the Michigan Legislature, approximately 258,088 valid signatures of registered voters must be gathered. Once petitions are approved by the Board of Canvassers, the Legislature has 40 calendar days to vote yes or no. If a simple majority in both chambers approves the bill, it becomes law. If either chamber fails to vote or votes “no,” the issue will be placed before the people as a ballot question in the following election.
Why this petition?
Beginning October 1, 2013, Michigan residents will be able to purchase health insurance on the exchange for plans that are expected to provide coverage beginning January 1, 2014. The No Taxes for Abortion Insurance committee is collecting signatures this summer to prohibit abortion coverage from the state exchange as it becomes active. To date, 21 states have passed similar legislation. The Michigan proposal would also require private health plans to offer abortion coverage as an optional rider rather than an included benefit.
When did the signature gathering begin and how long do participants have before the deadline?
The petition drive began on June 3, 2013, and under the law, all those gathering the 258,088 valid signatures have 180 days after this date to turn in signatures. No Taxes for Abortion Insurance, however, is asking for the signatures to be turned in by the beginning of September, so that there is enough time to ensure all the signatures are accounted for and valid.
For more information, please visit the website for No Taxes for Abortion Insurance, which is www.MichigansVoice.com