Legislative Update – Protect Working Families and other ballot questions

By Leo Sell, Legislative Committee Chair

The biggest and happiest news is that the critical constitutional amendment, now dubbed Protect Working Families, will be on the November ballot. The language in this amendment locks in rights of people like you and I to have strong, politically unmolested collective bargaining rights. Passage would roll back some terribly onerous changes in Michigan law and will serve to increase the economic safety of Michigan workers and their families.

It is absolutely critical that every one of our members not only vote for this, but that we deliver the votes of family members and friends. We must use every influence to bring this amendment to victory.

Another ballot measure that I heartily support is the measure to repeal the absolutely outrageous Emergency Financial Manager laws. The EFM has been an economic weapon of terror unleashed upon public school and municipal workers. It has been government power abused in the worst possible way – abrogating the authority of elected officials, and nullifying the will of the voting public.

On the other hand, additional measures will be in front of voters that simply must NOT be passed.

The amendment to require a 2/3 majority of the legislature to raise taxes effectively makes the state a hostage to just 13 Michigan Senators.  Yes, no matter how justifiable and what the margin of passage in the House might be, a simple refusal of 1/3 of the Senate would prevent passage of a revenue bill. This misguided measure was bought and paid for by the same wealthy individual who has financed the faux “let the people vote” measure on the new bridge to Canada. Defeat of this measure is almost as critical as passage of the working families amendment.

Lastly, the bridge amendment. This one, together with the tax proposition, are huge examples of how a wealthy person or company can completely game the system of ballot initiatives and Constitutional amendments here in Michigan.

We must use our informed voting en masse to make sure that the voting franchise exceeds the power of wealth.