Michigan Ballot Proposals 2012: How I’m Going to Vote, and How You Should, Too
This year’s Michigan ballot sports a whopping 6 ballot proposals. As a public service, I’m going to run through them, tell you how I’m going to vote (barring new information) and explain why.
1. The Emergency Manager Law – NO - Too many unknowns. To much potential for abuse. Clearly, some communities in Michigan need a lot of help but the new EM law is nothing more than a back door to privatizing public institutions and marginalizing public unions. Vote NO.
(Note: I’ve done a lot of soul searching on this topic It’s worth looking at the discussion in the comments below.)
2. Constitutional Amendment Regarding Collective Bargaining – YES - There really isn’t much argument here. Unions are a good thing. I’m not excited about this: “Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking” but codifying the right to unionize is something that absolutely belongs in the Michigan State Constitution.
3. Standards for Renewable Energy – YES – Honestly, I don’t think this one will pass, but it’s a good idea. 25% of Michigan’s energy will be required to come from renewable energy sources, and utilities can only raise rates 1% to facilitate compliance. Extensions can be given, so that, even if it passes, utilities can drag their feet ad infinitum, but it’s the best we can get. Michigan needs a renewable energy future not just because it’s a good idea, but because Michigan needs industry and Michigan needs jobs.
DTE and Consumers Energy are putting a lot of money into convincing Michigan voters to vote no on this. Don’t be fooled by ads from CARE for Michigan. They really don’t care at all about Michigan.
4. Constitutional Amendment to Establish the Michigan Quality Home Care Council and Provide Collective Bargaining for In-Home Care Workers – YES -The Michigan Quality Home Care Council was created under Granholm in 2004 to provide collective bargaining representation and act as a regulatory body for home care workers. They would perform backgroun checks on workers and monitor them to make sure that standards were followed. The workers came to be considered State employees, but when Snyder came in, Republicans defunded the Council, the union sued and won a temporary injunction that will expire in 2013 when the Council’s contract runs out. Now, this initiative seeks to create a new council and restore bargaining rights.
Republicans hate it, which to me, makes it a good idea. Even if you don’t understand the details, that should be enough to convince you. The Council provides a needed service and establishes standards for a rapidly aging population.
5. A Proposal to Amend the State Constitution to Limit the Enactment of New Taxes By State Government – NO, MY GOD F**K NO If this passes, the state can’t raise taxes without a 2/3’s majority vote in BOTH the State House and the State Senate. This is short sighted Tea Party posturing as its worst.
Given an emergency, the State must reserve the right to raise revenues if need be. In today’s political climate, does anyone seriously believe that 2/3’s agreement on anything is remotely possible?
When GM finally goes under, and Michiganders are lining up to either get fed or find a job, the State better have the power to balance out some of that lost income revenue. We don’t need to wait for self interested State Congress members to learn how to get along. Simple majorities and regular elections are fine.
Turns out this gem is brought to you by Matty Maroun. If this passes, then the tax breaks that keep fat cats like Matty even richer will be impossible to take away. This seemingly small proposal cedes all taxation power to a small minority of people, namely Matty and people like him that worked hard to make sure their money wouldn’t go back to the State.
If this proposal passes, nearly all the loopholes and tax breaks, which let the rich keep their money and invest it elsewhere, stay in forever. It’s worth noting that Mississippi has a similar law, and we know how things work down there (at least I do). Even Republicans, Gov. Snyder and a host of business groups are against this one. In fact, the only people that seem to be for this are Matty himself, and the most right of right wing Tea Party groups.
Michigan can do better than this.
6. Constitutional Amendment Regarding Construction of International Bridges and Tunnels – NO NO NO NO- Brought to you and paid for by Matty Maroun, the 85 year old billionaire and owner of the Ambassador bridge who want to retain his dangerous private monopoly on one of the most important international crossings in the world.
Now, this is just one example of how disgusting and cash rotten American politics have gotten. Matty is flush with cash, and can buy just about everything he could ever want in the perhaps 2 years he has left on this earth. The only person this proposal would benefit were it it to pass is Matty himself.
The State of Michigan, the United States and Canada deserve a publicly owned international crossing, not a creaking pit for a money hungry bridge troll.