ballot proposals

Politics & Government
8:13 am
Thu October 18, 2012

The week in Michigan politics

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This week Morning Edition host Christina Shockley talked with Michigan Radio's political analyst about the legislation to overhaul Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, results of a poll that looks at where Michiganders stand when it comes to the six ballot proposals voters will see in the next three weeks and the bankruptcy of U.S. operation of electric car battery maker, A123 Systems.

Environment & Science
1:09 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Proposal 3: 25 x '25 would amend Michigan's Constitution to increase use of renewables

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This is a story I produced for NPR's Morning Edition.  Editors were interested in Proposal 3 in Michigan because, if it passes, it would be the first time a state constitution would be amended for a Renewable Portfolio Standard. We'll be looking at this proposal in more detail in future reports.

There are business effects to some of the more than 170 statewide ballot measures to be decided in next month's elections. In California, voters will determine if labels should be required on genetically-modified food. People in Arkansas will vote whether to increase taxes for highways and bridges. And one measure in Michigan is capturing attention - whether the state constitution should be amended to change how utilities get their electricity.

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Election 2012
12:13 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

4 things to know about Proposal 4: Collective bargaining for home health aides

Anna Strumillo fotopedia

Under the federally-funded Home Help Services Program, qualifying elderly or disabled residents of Michigan are eligible to receive in-home assistance with personal care and household chores.

Participants of the program have discretion in the hiring and firing of home health aides, and have their services paid for by Medicaid funds administered through the Michigan departments of Community Health and Human Services.

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Election 2012
11:56 am
Wed October 10, 2012

5 things to know about Proposal 3: 25 by '25

Wind power could feature prominently in Michigan energy production if voters amend the state constitution to include a new renewable energy standard.
cwwycoff1 flickr

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. 

There are currently 29 states with some sort of RPS in place. Michigan is one of them. 

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.

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Politics & Government
6:12 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Stateside: An in-depth look at Michigan's controversial Emergency Manager Law

Cities like Pontiac are dealing with the affects of Public Act 4--the Emergency Manager Law.
Dave Garvin Flickr

Voters in November will decide the fate of Michigan’s state-imposed remedy for most struggling cities—Public Act 4, also known as the Emergency Manager Law. 

Voting “yes” on the referendum keeps PA4. Voting “no” will repeal it. If that happens, the state says it will revert back to the older PA 72, the Emergency FINANCIAL Manager law. The state is currently operating under that law because Public Act Four is suspended until after voters go the polls.

Currently, seven Michigan cities and school districts are run by state-appointed managers.

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Election 2012
9:03 am
Wed September 26, 2012

The six ballot proposals facing Michigan voters

Check back later for more coverage on Michigan's six ballot proposals.
Flickr

Michigan voters will see six proposals on their ballots.

There is one referendum on a current law, and five proposed amendments to the Michigan State Constitution. 

See the links below for the proposals as they will appear on your ballot.

Be sure to check back in the coming weeks as Michigan Radio will be providing detailed analysis of each proposal.

Referendum:

Proposal 1: The emergency manager law

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Health
4:40 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

State board may void contract with home health care workers

Patrick Wright of the Mackinac Center says home health care workers are being forced to pay union dues.
Mackinac Center

Michigan could void its contract with thousands of home health care workers if a state board agrees with a legal action filed this week by the Mackinac Center.

The free market think tank is asking the Michigan Employment Relations Commission to rule that home health care workers aren’t public employees, but rather private contractors who can’t unionize.

The workers are organized under the Service Employees International Union.

The Mackinac Center’s Pat Wright says they’re forced to pay dues that should be going to patient care.

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Politics & Government
9:47 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Gov. Snyder speaks out on ballot proposals, encourages 'no' votes on amendments

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder voices his opinion on the ballot proposals.
YouTube

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder released six videos expressing his opinion on the six ballot proposals facing voters this fall.

And just like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Gov. Snyder is encouraging a "no" vote on all five proposed amendments to the Michigan Constitution. He is encouraging a "yes" vote on the referendum on the emergency manager law (Public Act 4).

From Snyder's press release:

“I respect the initiative process as a fundamental democratic right, but the proposed constitutional amendments in November’s election have potentially dangerous long-term consequences for Michigan,” Snyder said. “Enshrining these seriously flawed proposals within our constitution would roll back positive reforms that are helping reinvent our state, and I encourage citizens to view them with skepticism.”

You can listen to Gov. Snyder's reasoning in his YouTube videos below. By the time he gets to proposal six, his voice seems a little strained:

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It's Just Politics
3:21 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Will Michigan's ballot proposals get out the vote in November?

Immortal Poet Flickr

It's official. There will be six questions on the state's November ballot: Five proposed amendments to the Michigan Constitution and one referendum on the state’s emergency manager law. And, we’re looking at some big battles here; we’ll certainly see a whole lot of money pouring into these efforts to change state law. In this week’s It’s Just Politics we take a look at how these ballot questions just might work as vote-drivers.

It’s a GOTV Kind of a Year

This year we have very few undecided voters – that group of anywhere from a third to even less than a quarter of the people that wait until the last minute to make up their minds. A lot of people don’t vote at all – in Michigan, about 40 percent of registered voters don’t actually make it to the polls. That’s referring, however, to the presidential race. In a presidential election year  that’s the biggest driver that gets people out to vote. There’s no doubt though that more people are still undecided about races and questions that are lower on the ballot. So, for many political strategists, the question becomes: what happens if you can somehow persuade some of those people to get out on Election Day?

Can Ballot Questions Get-Out-the-Vote?

Certainly, ballot questions are used to determine policy on issues. But they can also motivate people to get out and vote on issues they care about like same-sex marriage, affirmative action or abortion. This year, in Michigan, we have questions dealing with union rights and taxes. Democrats are pinning some of their electoral hopes on the Protect Our Jobs ballot question. The Protect Our Jobs proposal would guarantee bargaining rights, reverse a bunch of anti-union laws passed by the Legislature and Governor Snyder, and make sure there’s no way lawmakers could pass a right-to-work law in Michigan.

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Politics & Government
4:44 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Political Roundup: 6 ballot proposals, how will you vote?

voting booth
User: silatix Flickr

The Michigan Supreme Court has approved three more ballot proposals which will appear on the November ballot.

The court approved proposals to amend the state constitution to protect collective bargaining rights, the proposal to require two thirds super majorities in the Legislature to increase taxes, and a proposal that would require state wide votes for publicly funded international bridges or tunnels to Canada.

Michigan Radio’s Jennifer White talks with Ken Sikkema, former senate majority leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service.

Politics & Government
9:22 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Commentary: Ballot madness

Five million Michigan voters will go to the polls two months from today. When they are handed their ballots and walk into the voting booth, they will face six ticking time bombs.

I’m talking about the ballot proposals. Yesterday, the State Supreme Court ended a legal battle by ordering three more proposed constitutional amendments on to the ballot. They’ve already put two others there, plus a referendum on the emergency manager law.

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morning news roundup
7:57 am
Thu September 6, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Three ballot proposals approved

Michigan voters will decide on six ballot proposals in November. The state Supreme Court rejected challenges to three out of four proposed amendments yesterday. The court approved amendments to guarantee collective bargaining rights, to require two-thirds super-majority votes in the Legislature to increase taxes, and statewide votes for any future international bridges to Canada. The proposal to authorize eight more casinos in the state was not approved.

Bentivolio wins primary in 11th disctrict

Former teacher Kerry Bentivolio won the special primary election in Michigan’s eleventh district. Bentivolio was one of four Republicans vying to complete the remainder of Thaddeus McCotter’s term in Congress. He'll face Democrat David Curson in the special general election to decide who serve the remaining few weeks in McCotter’s term. McCotter resigned in July after it was discovered that petition signatures were forged or copied in at least two of his campaigns.

Medical marijuana debate in Wyoming, Mich.

The Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming is challenging a judge’s ruling that overturned its ban on medical marijuana. The Wyoming City Manager says city council worries that medical marijuana will increase crime and cause confusion for police. Michigan’s Court of Appeals struck down Wyoming’s medical marijuana ban last month. The court says any prosecution under federal laws would be up to the federal government, not local governments.

Politics & Government
5:49 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

High Court in Michigan approves ballot proposals, voters to face six proposals

Voting booth.
User: silatix Flickr

Update 5:49 p.m.

MPRN's Rick Pluta tells us that this Friday the Board of State Canvassers will meet to finalize the language for the six ballot questions. Pluta says there is a word limit for each proposal that the Board has to adhere to.

3:22 p.m.

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that the following ballot proposals should be placed on the November ballot:

  • Tax hike supermajority
  • Future bridge and tunnel vote
  • Collective bargaining

The high court ruled that the casino expansion ballot initiative will not be place on the ballot.

So, voters in Michigan will face a total of six ballot initiatives this November.

Follow the links on the proposal description to access the full text of the ballot question.

Politics & Government
4:13 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Political Roundup: Ballot proposals take money, make their way through the courts

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Three ballot proposals will appear on the November ballot. But four others are in limbo until the Michigan Supreme Court rules on them.

Depending upon how the court rules, voters could find themselves with up to seven questions to answer on the ballot. You can read more about the seven proposals here.

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Politics & Government
4:48 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Four ballot controversies heading to Michigan Supreme Court tomorrow

user Jeffness Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Supreme Court will hold a hearing tomorrow on whether four questions should appear on the statewide November ballot.

The court is expected to rule very quickly to meet election deadlines.

The proposals would

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3:06 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Ballot proposals aplenty coming this Nov., where Michigan voters stand now

Lead in text: 
This November, voters in Michigan will be asked to decided on around a half-dozen controversial issues. If the election were held today, the The Detroit News has a breakdown on where things would end up. Polls show the emergency manager law would be upheld, as would collective bargaining rights, and the effort to stop a new international bridge would fail.
Lansing - If the election were held today, Michigan's emergency manager law would survive a referendum and voters would narrowly reject the Ambassador Bridge owner's bid to require statewide votes for new bridges and tunnels to Canada, a Detroit News/WDIV-Channel 4 poll shows.

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