november ballot

Stateside
5:07 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Republican strategist says switching to a part-time Legislature would not be good for Michigan

The State Capitol.
Matthileo Flickr

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?

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.

Dennis Lennox is a columnist for The Morning Sun and a public affairs consultant.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
6:56 am
Mon October 29, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

Credit User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Hurricane Sandy to affect Great Lakes

"Severe weather bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard could lead to waves as high as 33 feet on parts of Lake Michigan and dangerous conditions on other Great Lakes. Dangerous conditions are expected along piers and breakwalls in areas including southwestern Michigan. Snow linked to the Hurricane Sandy could fall in parts of Michigan," the AP reports.

Giants sweep Tigers in World Series

"The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 last night in 10 innings. The Giants swept the Tigers to win their second World Series title in 3 years," the AP reports.

Snyder on campaign trail against most ballot proposals

"Governor Rick Snyder will visit 12 Michigan cities this week to spread his message about the November ballot. He says Proposals Two-through-Six could undermine the state’s economic recovery," Jake Neher reports.

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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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Commentary
10:30 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Commentary: Ballot proposal mania

Depending on what the courts decide, Michigan voters in November could be deciding anywhere from one to six ballot proposals, some of which would radically alter the way things work.

Why is there so much uncertainty about what we are going to be voting on, barely two months before the election? The process used to be straightforward. Groups who wanted to put something on the ballot collected signatures. The state then checked to see if they had enough legitimate ones to qualify.

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Law
11:47 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Michigan Court of Appeals: Casino ballot initiative is 'unconstitutional'

user clarita MorgueFile.com

This morning, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled a ballot initiative that would approve eight more private casinos in the state will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. The court ruled the ballot proposal is unconstitutional.

MLive reports that Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch broke the news on his Twitter account this morning.

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Politics & Government
3:48 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Casino ballot question debated in court

user cohdra MorgueFile.com

The owners of Detroit and tribal casinos were in court today to try to keep a proposal off the November ballot. The proposal would amend the state constitution to allow eight rival casinos to open in Michigan.

The opponents of the proposed amendment say it would also have the practical effect of re-writing state gaming regulations – and that’s not allowed.

Peter Ellsworth is their attorney. He says voters have a right to know what they’re being asked to decide.

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Law
4:00 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

MI Supreme Court approves EM Law referendum for Nov. ballot

Michigan Hall of Justice
Subterranean Wikimedia Commons

Update Aug. 3 4:00 p.m.

State Treasurer Andy Dillon said at a press conference following the Supreme Court ruling, that putting the Emergency Manager referendum on the ballot means the state will have to revert to previous legislation about Emergency Financial Managers.

Dillon says the current Emergency Managers running cities in Michigan will all be re-appointed except for Flint Emergency Manager Michael Brown.

Brown has served as Mayor of Flint within the last five years, and is not eligible to be an Emergency Manager under the old law.

Dillon says the state will name a new Emergency Manager for Flint.

Aug. 3 1:30 p.m.

The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered the referendum on the state’s emergency manager law onto the November ballot.

A divided court ruled the ballot campaign’s petitions met the letter of the law, that the type on a critical portion of the petition was, in fact, 14 points, which is what the law requires.

The Supreme Court decision requires a state elections board to put the challenge to the emergency manager law on the November ballot.

At that point, the emergency manager law is suspended, but what happens next is not certain. In a statement today, Gov. Rick Snyder said:

While I fully support the right of all citizens to express their views, suspension of the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act may adversely affect Michigan communities and school districts mired in financial emergencies. It promises to make eventual solutions to those emergencies more painful.

One of the act’s primary goals is to identify financial emergencies before they become full-blown crises. Suspending the law limits the state’s ability to offer early intervention and assistance, and eliminates important tools that emergency managers need to address financial emergencies as quickly and efficiently as possible.

This is critical given the state’s responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, regardless of the city in which they live or the school district they attend.

Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette say the old emergency manager law is resurrected -- the seven emergency managers currently serving will continue, but with diminished authority.

The referendum drive says otherwise – that there is no emergency manager law, and the emergency managers are out of a job.

It could take another court fight – or extraordinary action by the Legislature to settle the question.

Others have also released statements on the ruling:

  • American Federation of Teachers Michigan President David Hecker:

The Michigan Supreme Court has listened to reason and the hundreds of thousands of citizens who signed petitions calling for the repeal of PA4. Michigan voters know that the Legislature granted extreme powers to unelected Emergency Managers in this bill, and deserve the right to vote on this issue in November.

  • Detroit Mayor Dave Bing:

We respect the Michigan Supreme Court’s opinion, protecting the constitutional right of citizens to use the petition process. However, the Financial Stability Agreement (FSA) remains in effect and is still a critical tool to help fiscally stabilize the city...

The Financial Advisory Board will also remain in tact as will its oversight function to make sure the City is moving forward in restructuring. The court’s decision is not expected to affect the bond issue we need to maintain the city’s cash flow, and the city must complete the bond issue to fund city operations. The bottom line is the City’s fiscal challenges remain, and Public Act 4 was one tool to help us.  Without P.A.4, we will continue to execute our fiscal restructuring plan.

  • Flint Mayor Dayne Walling:

The legal decision does not change anything about the City of Flint's finances, however. It is my hope that there can be cooperation at all levels in the public and private sectors to address the deep rooted challenges we face in Michigan's communities. This is a time when we need to stop fighting over control and instead work together in equal cooperation.

Weekly Political Roundup
5:19 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Experts discuss font size during Michigan Supreme Court hearing

Michigan Municipal League

The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments on whether a referendum on Public Act 4, the Emergency Manager Law, should appear on the November ballot. 

As you might remember the Board of State Canvassers was asked to determine whether the petitions were printed in the correct font size. But they deadlocked and the issue went to the Michigan Court Appeals, which made a confusing ruling about precedent. And so now we’re now at the Supreme Court.

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11:58 am
Wed July 25, 2012

MI Supreme Court heard arguments on EM law, petition font size today

Lead in text: 
Today, the Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments about the validity of Stand Up for Democracy's petition challenging the state's emergency manager law. The high court will rule on the legality of the petition's font size. So what's all the fuss about? Check out this Michigan Radio infographic breaking down the issue.
Even though they won today, the group hoping to repeal Michigan's emergency manager law could still face a legal challenge in the Michigan Supreme
Politics & Government
5:32 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Opponents say casino question should be blocked from ballot

The MGM Grand Casino in Detroit
Mike Russell. Wikimedia Commons

Opponents of a proposal to allow eight new casinos across Michigan say they will ask the state Court of Appeals to order the question off the November ballot.

The Protect MI Vote coalition is made up of business groups, as well as the three Detroit casinos and three tribal casinos.

Attorneys for the group say the proposal was poorly drafted because it combines an amendment to the state constitution with a re-write of Michigan’s law that regulates casino gaming.

John Truscott of Protect MI Vote says that makes the ballot question confusing and misleading.

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Politics & Government
4:55 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Six candidates filed to finish out McCotter's term today

Republican Kerry Bentivolio, a veteran and former teacher from Milford, will run to replace Rep. McCotter.
Kerry Bentivolio http://bentivolioforcongress.com

Democrat Dave Curson, and Republicans Kerry Bentivolio, Kenneth Crider, Steve King, Carolyn Kavanagh and Nancy Cassis all say they have filed enough valid signatures to run in the special election to fill the remainder of U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter's congressional seat, according to the the Detroit News.

The deadline for filing signatures was 4 p.m. today.

After McCotter abruptly resigned from his seat in Detroit’s 11th Congressional district, he left a gap between his absence and the end of his term in early January. 

In order to fill the gap, Gov. Rick Snyder's office called for a special question to appear on the November ballot, in which 11th District voters will decide on a candidate to finish out the remaining six weeks of McCotter's term.

On the same ballot, these constituents will vote again for whom they want to serve the following term beginning January 3, 2013.  The deadline for candidates to file for that election has already passed.

A primary for the special election could be held on September 5, if more than one candidate from either party file enough signatures.

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Politics & Government
4:45 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Political Roundup: A complex November ballot

user mattileo flickr

Every Thursday, we look at Michigan politics on Michigan Radio's Political Roundup.

This week, Michigan Radio's Jennifer White was joined by Ken Sikkema, former Senate majority leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and Debbie Dingell, political analyst and member of the Democratic National Committee to discuss the questions that may appear on this November's ballot.

This week, the Michigan Supreme Court agreed to take up the question of whether a referendum on Public Act 4, the emergency manager law, should appear on the November ballot.

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Law
4:55 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

MI Supreme Court will hear arguments on PA 4 referendum

Michigan Hall of Justice
User Xnatedawgx Wikimedia Commons

The state Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on whether a referendum on Michigan’s emergency manager law should appear on the November ballot.

The arguments will take place in two weeks. A business coalition that supports the emergency manager law is trying to keep the question off the ballot.

The group Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility says a section of this petition was printed in a type size that was too small, and that makes it ineligible.

The group lost before the state Court of Appeals, which said a court precedent left no choice in the matter.

Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility wants that precedent reversed. And if it wins, that decision could affect other ballot campaigns that filed this year.
       

The ballot campaign Stand Up For Democracy says there was no error. But it says even if there were, a technicality should not keep a question off the ballot after 226,000 people signed petitions supporting it.

Politics & Government
4:34 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Governor's office calls special election to replace McCotter

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
Brian Calley Facebook.com

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has called a special election to fill the vacancy created by the sudden resignation last week of U.S. Rep.Thaddeus McCotter (R-Livonia). It is the latest twist in a bizarre series of events that began when McCotter failed to make the ballot because of faked petition signatures.
       

The special election will be held on the same date as the Nov. 8 general election. The lieutenant governor says McCotter resigned too late to avoid calling the special primary a month after the regular primary, which will cost taxpayers $650,000.

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Politics & Government
2:53 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Renewable energy campaign files for November ballot

Wind turbines could be part of the renewable energy campaign.
user imma MorgueFile.com

The campaign to put renewable energy targets into the state constitution filed 550,000 petition signatures today to qualify for the November ballot.

This campaign pits utility companies and their employee unions against energy entrepreneurs who see a business opportunity in amending Michigan’s constitution. The amendment would require energy providers to generate a quarter of the state’s electricity using wind, solar power or other renewable resources by 2025.

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Law
4:36 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Elections officials refuse to block ballot question

The state Court of Appeals, seen here, could be the next stop for a business group that’s trying to keep a proposal to protect collective bargaining off the November ballot.
user BotMultichil Wikimedia Commons

The state Court of Appeals could be the next stop for a business group that’s trying to keep a proposal to protect collective bargaining off the November ballot. That’s after state elections officials said they don’t have the legal authority to block the question.
    
The business-backed group Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution asked the Secretary of State to rule a question not eligible to appear on the ballot – even though the union-backed petition drive collected 650,000 names. That’s double the number needed. But the business group says the question itself is broad and sweeping when it should be narrow in scope.

The ballot question would amend the state constitution to guarantee collective bargaining rights and preempt a right-to-work law in Michigan. It would also roll back Republican-sponsored efforts to limit union fundraising and organizing.

The state’s election director says in a letter that the law does not give the Secretary of State the authority to unilaterally declare a question invalid. Attorneys say they may seek a court order to keep the question off the ballot.

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Politics
3:26 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Michigan Court of Appeals hears arguments on EM ballot question

District I offices of the Michigan Court if Appeals in Detroit
Mike Russell wikimedia commons

The question of whether voters should get to weigh in on the state’s emergency manager law now rests with the Michigan Court of Appeals.

A panel of the court heard arguments today both for and against putting the referendum on the November ballot.

A coalition of labor and other activist groups collected more than 220,000 petition signatures to do just that.

But the state Board of Canvassers blocked the question based on a complaint that some of the type on the referendum petitions was in the wrong size.

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Politics
2:16 pm
Sat September 10, 2011

Recall effort for Paul Scott approved

A double dose of bad news for Republican state Representative Paul Scott this weekend. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has formally approved a question to recall him for the November ballot. She says a teacher union-backed effort turned in enough valid petition signatures of registered voters to qualify for the ballot.

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Politics
6:22 am
Tue August 2, 2011

Effort to recall Snyder won't make Nov. ballot

Republican Governor Rick Snyder
Photo courtesy of the Snyder administration

The Committee to recall Rick Snyder says it hasn't collected enough signatures to get a recall on the November ballot. The Associated Press reports:

The group's spokesman Tom Bryant tells The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press that it has collected more than 300,000 signatures but is short of the more than 800,000 required. Bryant says collection efforts will continue into September, and they'll try to get the issue before voters in February.

The Committee to Recall Rick Snyder opposes Snyder-backed changes including a tougher emergency financial manager law.

Snyder spokeswoman Geralyn Lasher says the governor has made difficult decisions, including spending cuts and lifting tax exemptions on public and private pension income. She says the Republican doing what's needed to "get Michigan back on track."

The Detroit News reports:

The group needs about 807,000 valid signatures and hopes to collect close to 1 million to withstand challenges. Since all signatures must be collected within a 90-day period, the group can build on its July momentum and work toward a Sept. 29 deadline, even if it has to scrap some of the earliest signatures and get those people to sign again, he said...  Wording for the recall petition was approved in late April. No recall effort aimed at a Michigan governor has ever made the ballot.