Chamber Alliance Position on Michigan Ballot Proposals

Michigan Ballot Proposals:

Vote Yes: Proposal 1: Emergency manager law. 
Vote No: Proposal 2: Union collective bargaining.
Vote No: Proposal 3: Renewable energy measure.
Vote No: Proposal 4: Home healthcare measure.
Vote No: Proposal 5: Two-thirds tax measure.
Vote No: Proposal 6: Bridge-related measure.

Proposal 1 –

The Chamber Alliance position is a Yes Vote on this proposal to keep the current law intact.

Emergency Manager Initiative
Michigan Emergency Manager Referendum, also known as Public Act 4 of 2011, focuses on emergency managers (EMs), who are appointed by the governor to take over local municipalities and school districts in financial distress. The law currently provides for the conditions under which a formal review of the finances of a municipality or school district and the process for doing so.  The Chamber Alliance urges a YES vote on this proposal for maintaining a holistic approach to solving local communities financial issues versus just declaring bankruptcy.

Proposal 2 –

The Chamber Alliance position is a No Vote on this proposal.

Collective Bargaining Initiative

“Protect Our Jobs” is leading the effort to constitutionally give workers the right to collectively bargain and make other, far-reaching changes that would change the enforceability of close to 80 existing laws having to do with collective bargaining by public sector and private union employees.  This initiative emerged as a response to possible “Right to Work” legislation as well as new laws on collective bargaining focusing on state union employees paying for a portion of healthcare and retirement costs.  We do not support adding legislative issues to the constitution.  These changes will have long lasting impacts and could create challenges years from now that will not easily be addressed or change even if it is good policy and good for our communities and residents.

Proposal 3 –

The Chamber Alliance position is a No Vote on this proposal.

Renewable Energy Initiative

A group called “Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs” seeks to require public utilities to obtain at least 25% of the electricity they produce from clean renewable energy sources by 2025. Current law requires that public utilities obtain only 10% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015.  The Alliance believes that a 25% standard is an arbitrary target that limits the ability of utility companies to make smart investment decisions and will lead to higher electricity rates.  It would also require energy companies to invest approximately ten billion dollars in renewable energy infrastructure, regardless of economic conditions and cost to the consumer and business owners.  The alliance believes while it is important to invest in all types of energy production including renewable energy just coming up with a 25% goal without identifying the true costs to consumers and business owners and we believe it will hurt Michigan and make it less competitive on energy costs.

Proposal 4 —

The Chamber Alliance position is a No Vote on this proposal.

Home Healthcare Initiative
“Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care” has proposed a constitutional amendment that establishes a “governing council” called the Michigan Quality Home Council,  this would require the training of home healthcare workers, and allows limited collective bargaining rights. The Alliance believes the constitution is not the place to start singling out individual employment sectors to be protected to have collective bargaining rights. This targeted unionization seeks to automatically collect dues by deducting such from checks that home health care assistants receive for services they provide to the young and elderly that need care.

Proposal 5 —

The Chamber Alliance position is a No Vote on this proposal.

2/3 Ballot Initiative

Michigan Alliance for Prosperity (MAP) is spearheading an effort to increase the voting requirement for raising taxes or expanding Michigan’s tax base from a simple majority to a 2/3 majority in each house, or by a statewide vote.

There are thirteen other states that have a super majority requirement to raise taxes.

While the Chamber Alliance doesn’t regularly favor the raising of taxes, they urge a no vote because this change in the constitution could prevent situations like tax shifts that could hinder our elected leaders from the flexibility they need to carry out their work.  The recent removal of the Michigan Business Tax and creation of the simplified Corporate Tax would not have been done if this proposal had been in the state constitution.

Proposal 6 –

The Chamber Alliance position is a No Vote on this proposal.

Bridge Initiative

“The Public Should Decide,” driven by the owner of the Ambassador Bridge, if passed this proposal would require a statewide vote before the State can construct or finance new international bridges or tunnels. This initiative is an attempt by the Detroit International Bridge Company to stop efforts to build a new Michigan-Canada bridge.  The Detroit-Windsor corridor handles approximately 25 to 30 percent of all trade between the United States and Canada. More than eight million American jobs depend on that trade. Current delays at the existing bridge slow business and provide opportunities for businesses to seek alternative routes.  The Alliance believes the  plan for a second bridge will build on Michigan’s current $44 billion a year trade partnership with Canada and provide additional capacity to allow the movement of more goods and services across the border.

%d bloggers like this: