Politics & Government
5:28 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Stakes are high in Michigan's Proposal 2 campaign

Michigan's Proposal 2 ballot campaign is being watched across the country. The proposal seeks to enshrine collective bargaining rights for public and private employees into the Michigan Constitution.

Steven Greenhouse wrote about the implications of Michigan's Proposal 2 in a recent New York Times piece.

In it, Michigan Chamber of Commerce president Rich Studley called Proposal 2 a "weapon" that is being tested in Michigan and could be used in other states that allow voter referendums and initiatives.

The ballot campaign represents an attempt by unions and their Democratic allies to slow or stop the wave of Republican-backed measures adopted in Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and other states in the last two years to curb collective bargaining and weaken unions, especially those representing government workers.

“Besides the presidential race, Proposal 2 is probably going to be the most significant thing on the ballot nationally,” said F. Vincent Vernuccio, director of labor policy at the Mackinac Center, a conservative research center based in Midland, Mich.

Union representatives say collective bargaining rights for public employees are suffering "a death by a thousand cuts" in Michigan, and Proposal 2 is the best way to protect those rights.

Greenhouse writes that $30 million is expected to be spent on the battle over Proposal 2 in Michigan.

To read more about Proposal 2 and all the statewide ballot proposals, you can check out Michigan Radio's Guide to the Ballot Proposals.