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oransconcierge's Handy Michigan Ballot Proposal Guide

Proposal 1: REFERENDUM OF 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.


The first proposal on the 2012 Michigan ballot is a doosey. There are strong cases both for and against the Emergency Manager Law. Those in favor of the measure argue that cities, townships, and villages that are in dire financial need have to be reformed before the municipality defaults and therefore responsibility for those bills are put on the state. Those against the E-M law argue that it is undemocratic because it usurps the power of elected officials and puts them into the hands of a state-appointed manager. I think that there are many flaws in this law, and governments should be run and reformed locally.

VOTE: NO

Proposal 2: AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION REGARDING COLLECTIVE BARGANING

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.

I am somewhat surprised at how divisive this on our fair state given that Michigan is one of the leading states in the labor movement. Let's not forget that workers forming unions and the power of the labor movements in the post-war era allowed the middle class to be formed by demanding safe, productive, and well paying jobs. A huge swath of Metro Detroit has the unions to thank for their way of life. We have the men and women of history to thank for their struggles to make unionization a possibility, and it must be defended from interests that seek to destroy it today, a when workers are exploited by low wages and companies can transfer production overseas with few repercussions.

VOTE: YES

Proposal 3: AMEND THE 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.

Many Michiganders do not realize that we already have a clause in the constitution requiring that 10% of our energy needs come from renewable energy. The advertisements on radio and TV are misleading because price rate increases are capped by this amendment. Also, let's think of this frankly and objectively: Does the price of oil, coal and gas fluctuate? Are we starting to run out of these energy commodities? The answer would be 'yes' to both questions. How about wind, the sun, and water, do they cost more and more every year? Of course not. This amendment is necessary because we need to begin to secure our energy supply and control energy costs, and protect one of Michigan's largest commodities-our environment (think tourism!). Stability in the energy sector will have a large positive impact on the private sector, not to mention the opportunity for the manufacture of these alternative energy solutions.

VOTE: YES

Proposal 4: AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO CREAT THE MQHCC & PROVIDE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR IN-HOME 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.

This ballot initiative seeks to create a registry connecting senior citizens with registered in-home healthcare workers. The measure seeks to make sure that the workers are certified and not a threat to our elderly neighbors. In-home care is an alternative to nursing home or assisted living care and saves the state Medicaid roles a good amount of money. Allowing collective bargaining for these in-home workers is fair, and already a standard in much of the healthcare industry. This could probably be completed legislatively, but lets not let all that ink go to waste!

VOTE: YES

Proposal 5: AMEND CONSTITUTION TO LIMIT THE ENACTMENT OF TAXES

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.

To require a 2/3 majority to pass laws is just plain bad democracy. Look at how well our federal senate operates on the 2/3 majority rule. Not too well. Taxes and changes to the tax code should be treated just like any other legislative process.

VOTE: NO

Proposal 6: AMEND THE CONSTITUTION REGARDING INTERNATIONAL CROSSINGS

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.”

This initiative is the brain child of greedy billionaire and Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun, and is an attempt to stop the construction of a new international bridge crossing funded by the Canadian government. He is also the money behind the "Let the People Decide" group running all those ads on radio and TV. Canada has stated that it will front the costs of construction, including any price overruns. NUMEROUS ACADEMIC STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT THIS BRIDGE WILL COST MICHIGAN TAXPAYERS NOTHING! Such a bridge has the promise of creating hundreds of jobs for Michiganders, who desperately need them. Calling for a statewide vote on such crossings would be very expensive for the state to conduct, and would also delay planning and construction of such crossings IF they pass the vote. Sounds like a great idea for economic development, all that uncertainty, eh?

VOTE: NO

View count: 425

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