michigan constitution http://michiganradio.org en Republican strategist says switching to a part-time Legislature would not be good for Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/republican-strategist-says-switching-part-time-legislature-would-not-be-good-michigan <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Starting next month, the Committee to Restore Michigan's Part-Time Legislature says they will be looking for your signatures. They've got six months to gather 400,000 voter signatures to get a big question on the November 2014 ballot: Should we amend Michigan's Constitution to switch our state to a part-time Legislature?</span></p><p>We'll be looking at both sides of this idea. Today we welcome a Republican strategist who believes this proposal is not in the best interest of Michigan.</p><p>Dennis Lennox is a columnist for The Morning Sun and a public affairs consultant.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 22:07:54 +0000 Stateside Staff 15737 at http://michiganradio.org Republican strategist says switching to a part-time Legislature would not be good for Michigan Officials reject school board recall petition drive http://michiganradio.org/post/officials-reject-school-board-recall-petition-drive <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The elections board in </span>Washtenaw<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"> County has rejected a recall petition drive aimed at local school board members. It’s one of the first such actions since the Legislature passed a law making it harder to recall elected officials. The </span>Washtenaw<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"> County Elections Commission ruled the petition was not sufficiently clear on why six members of the Ann Arbor Board of Education should be removed by voters.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The board did not rule on whether the petitions were factual. That’s also required under the new law. </span>Washtenaw<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"> County Clerk Lawrence </span>Kestenbaum<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;says he thinks that would violate the Michigan Constitution.</span><br><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">“For us to make those kinds of determinations flies in the face of what the Constitution provides that the sufficiency of reasons for a recall is a political question, not a judicial question. It’s a political question... means it’s up to the people.”</span><br><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Kestenbaum says he expects the recall law will eventually face a court challenge.</span><br>&nbsp;</p><p></p><p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 21:51:38 +0000 Rick Pluta 13804 at http://michiganradio.org Officials reject school board recall petition drive Michigan Court of Appeals blocks further action in Detroit bankruptcy case http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-court-appeals-blocks-further-action-detroit-bankruptcy-case <p>The Michigan Court of Appeals has blocked further action in three lawsuits filed in Lansing that attempt to stop the Detroit bankruptcy case. The decision comes on the eve of the first hearing before a federal bankruptcy judge.</p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The Michigan Court of Appeals has stopped any further proceedings in the Ingham County lawsuit while a three-judge panel looks into the case.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The appeals court stayed a judge’s order that the bankruptcy filing be withdrawn, and it ordered the next round of arguments to be filed no later than the close of business Friday.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">But it’s possible U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes will order all lawsuits dealing with Detroit’s bankruptcy to run through his court.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Detroit city employees and pension funds say the bankruptcy filing is contrary to the Michigan Constitution. That’s because the state Constitution has specific protections for public employee pensions that could be reduced by a bankruptcy.</span></p><p></p><p> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 20:33:11 +0000 Rick Pluta 13660 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Court of Appeals blocks further action in Detroit bankruptcy case Is legalizing gay marriage on Michigan's horizon? http://michiganradio.org/post/legalizing-gay-marriage-michigans-horizon <p>Yesterday, <a href="http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/14/minn-governor-to-sign-bill-allowing-gay-marriage/">Minnesota’s governor signed a bill </a>that made gay marriage legal in the state.</p><p>Could Michigan be the next state to make steps towards legalizing gay marriage?</p><p>Given the state’s current constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage, probably not anytime soon.&nbsp; But more Michiganders support gay marriage than they did a year ago.</p><p><a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130514/POLITICS02/305140459/Poll-Majority-Michigan-now-support-gay-marriage?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE">According to a state-wide poll</a> released to <em>The Detroit News</em> and WDIV-TV Channel 4 on Tuesday, 56.8% of Michigan residents support gay marriage. That’s a 12.5 percentage point increase since May 2012 when 44.3% of Michiganders supported gay marriage.</p><p>Opinions have drastically changed since January 2011, when only 38% supported gay marriage.&nbsp;</p><p>Republican opinion has shifted the most – 36.5% of Republicans supported gay marriage in the most recent poll compared to the 20% who supported it in 2012.</p><p> Wed, 15 May 2013 17:45:57 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12579 at http://michiganradio.org Is legalizing gay marriage on Michigan's horizon? 5 things to know about Proposal 3: 25 by '25 http://michiganradio.org/post/5-things-know-about-proposal-3-25-25 <p>Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) promote the use of renewable energy by requiring that a minimum percentage or amount of energy sold in a state come from sources like wind, solar, biomass, or hydropower.&nbsp;</p><p>There are currently 29 states with some sort of RPS in place. Michigan is one of them.&nbsp;</p><p>Michigan’s current standard, passed by the legislature in 2008, calls for 10 percent of retail electricity sales to be derived from renewable sources by 2015.</p> Wed, 10 Oct 2012 15:56:28 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 9426 at http://michiganradio.org 5 things to know about Proposal 3: 25 by '25 Muddying the Michigan Constitution? http://michiganradio.org/post/muddying-michigan-constitution <p>You’ve got a lot to decide on election day. It’s not just who will be president, or elected to Congress or to the state legislature. There will be five state constitutional amendments. Some people are concerned about whether adding a lot of Constitutional amendments muddies a document that is designed to be a clear guide for the state.</p> Thu, 20 Sep 2012 11:00:00 +0000 Lester Graham 9157 at http://michiganradio.org Muddying the Michigan Constitution? Michigan high court orders lower court to rule on "Protect Our Jobs" ballot proposal http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-high-court-orders-lower-court-rule-protect-our-jobs-ballot-proposal <p>The <a href="http://coa.courts.mi.gov/documents/SCT/PUBLIC/ORDERS/20120821_S145684_42_145684_2012-08-21_or.pdf">Michigan Supreme Court ordered</a> the Court of Appeals to issue a ruling by Monday on whether the "Protect Our Jobs" constitutional amendment proposal should go on the November ballot.</p><p>The referendum seeks to to protect collective bargaining rights in Michigan.</p> Wed, 22 Aug 2012 15:40:14 +0000 Mark Brush 8764 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan high court orders lower court to rule on "Protect Our Jobs" ballot proposal Court says Michigan and U.S. constitutions include right to bear tasers http://michiganradio.org/post/court-says-michigan-and-us-constitutions-include-right-bear-tasers <p>A court has ruled Michigan&rsquo;s ban on private citizens owning Tasers and stun guns violates the right to bear arms that is protected in the state and federal constitutions.</p><p>Michigan&rsquo;s ban on Tasers and stun guns will be relaxed come August. That&rsquo;s when a new state law will allow people with concealed weapons permits to carry the devices. These cases date back to 2011 and 2010. A convenience store worker was arrested for carrying a stun gun on the job; another person was arrested in his home for possession of an illegal weapon.</p><p>The non-lethal devices rely on a surge of electricity to disable their targets. The Michigan Court of Appeals says the weapons are not sufficiently dangerous or unusual to be banned. The court did not address restrictions like Michigan&rsquo;s new concealed weapon license requirements.</p><p> Wed, 27 Jun 2012 21:03:48 +0000 Rick Pluta 8057 at http://michiganradio.org Court says Michigan and U.S. constitutions include right to bear tasers Commentary: Ballot insanity http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-ballot-insanity <p>There are two very different proposals this year that would dramatically change life in Michigan.&nbsp; Both have evidentially gotten way more than enough signatures to qualify to be on the November ballot. But opponents of both are fighting hard to prevent people from having a chance to vote on them.&nbsp; And what this ought to say to all of us is that our state constitution is fundamentally flawed.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 25 Jun 2012 15:08:40 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 8011 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Ballot insanity Commentary: Referendum madness http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-referendum-madness <p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">If everyone who is trying to get a referendum on something on the ballot this fall succeeds, every conscientious person may end up having to spend half an hour in the voting booth in November.</font></font></font></font></p> Mon, 30 Apr 2012 14:50:45 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 7247 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Referendum madness Failed Reform http://michiganradio.org/post/failed-reform <p>I heard something last week that gave me a little bit of hope our state might be moving towards slightly more open and honest politics.&nbsp; Jocelyn Benson, a law professor at Wayne State, is leading a drive to amend the Michigan Constitution to require complete and immediate disclosure of corporate campaign contributions.</p><p>Doing that would make a lot of sense. Two years ago, a lot of people, including me, were dismayed when the United States Supreme Court ruled that no limits could be placed on campaign contributions made by either corporations or unions.</p> Mon, 19 Mar 2012 15:10:59 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 6685 at http://michiganradio.org Failed Reform Going for Broke http://michiganradio.org/post/going-broke <p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">For weeks, I heard rumors that a coalition of unions were going to try to get a state constitutional amendment on the ballot to prevent the legislature from making Michigan a so-called &quot;right-to-work&quot; state. That is, one where workers could no longer be required to join or pay dues to a union. Well, the unions revealed their proposal yesterday.</font></font></font></font></p> Wed, 07 Mar 2012 16:44:51 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 6536 at http://michiganradio.org Going for Broke Congressman John Conyers seeks review of Michigan’s emergency manager law http://michiganradio.org/post/congressman-john-conyers-seeks-review-michigan%E2%80%99s-emergency-manager-law <p>Gov. Rick Snyder&#39;s administration has placed the city of Flint under an Emergency Manager. Meanwhile, financial reviews are underway for the cities of Inkster and Detroit.</p><p>On December 1, Democratic Congressman John Conyers sent a letter to the Justice Department, requesting an immediate review of Michigan&rsquo;s emergency manager law, arguing that the law is unconstitutional.</p><p>Congressman Conyers spoke with Michigan Radio&#39;s Jennifer White. Tue, 06 Dec 2011 20:20:30 +0000 Jennifer White 5270 at http://michiganradio.org Congressman John Conyers seeks review of Michigan’s emergency manager law Former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley: Speaking Frankly http://michiganradio.org/post/former-michigan-attorney-general-frank-kelley-speaking-frankly <p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">Former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley issued more formal opinions about the constitutionality of various Michigan laws than any attorney general in history.</font></font></font></font></p> Tue, 18 Oct 2011 14:53:33 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 4617 at http://michiganradio.org Former Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley: Speaking Frankly Not Guilty As Charged http://michiganradio.org/post/not-guilty-charged <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-970109.mp3</p><p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">How many of the forty-four thousand prisoners sitting in our state&rsquo;s prisons do you think are actually innocent of the charges which put them there? None? A handful? Maybe &hellip; one percent?</font></font></font></font></p> Mon, 23 May 2011 15:29:06 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 2609 at http://michiganradio.org Not Guilty As Charged