Name
Michigan Catholic Conference
Phone
(800) 395-5565
Fax
(517) 372-3940
Address
510 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933

September 7, 2012

In This Week’s Lansing Update:

  1. Six Ballot Questions to Appear on November General Election Ballot

Six Ballot Questions to Appear on November General Election Ballot

Michigan voters heading to the polls on November 6 will have the opportunity to vote on six ballot questions, in addition to the presidential race, a U.S. Senate seat, and seats in the U.S. Congress, Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Supreme Court. The six ballot questions are the most Michigan voters have seen on one ballot in nearly 30 years.

Proposal 5, which would require two-thirds support from both the Michigan House of Representatives and the State Senate for any tax increase, is opposed by the Michigan Catholic Conference following a unanimous vote this week by its Board of Directors. According to a statement released this week by MCC President and C.E.O. Paul Long:

The ‘two-thirds’ proposal would nullify the ability for a simple majority of elected officials to modify state revenues when needed, which the Conference believes is contrary to the principles of representative democracy and the ability to promote the common good for all Michigan citizens.

In an effort to help educate Catholic voters across the state as to what exactly each proposal seeks to accomplish, and which organizations support and oppose each effort, MCC will dedicate an edition of its FOCUS publication in October to the six proposed ballot questions. Below is language similar to that which will appear on the November general election ballot for five proposed constitutional amendments and a referendum on an existing state statute:

Proposal 1: A Referendum on Public Act 4 of 2011—The Emergency Manager Law

Ballot Language: 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 of 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 by consent decree.

Should this law be approved? Yes___ No___

Proposal 2: Collective Bargaining Rights

Ballot Language: 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___ No___

Proposal 3: Renewable Energy

Ballot Language: 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___ No___

Proposal 4: Collective Bargaining for Home Health Care Workers

Ballot Language: 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 law be approved? Yes___ No___

Proposal 5: Legislative Super-Majority Needed for Tax Increase

Ballot Language: 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___ No___

Proposal 6: International Bridges and Tunnels

Ballot Language: A Proposal to Amend the State Constitution Regarding Construction of International Bridges and Tunnels

This proposal would:

  • Require the approval 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 new 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___ No___

Name
Michigan Catholic Conference
Phone
(800) 395-5565
Fax
(517) 372-3940
Email
Address
510 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933
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