Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
By Dawn Wolfe Gutterman
As any good voter knows, election time isn’t just about choosing representatives. It’s about having a say in how our government is run, too – and how our state’s Constitution reads.
The following is an explanation of the proposals that will appear on Michigan’s ballot this November with BTL’s recommendation to voters LINK TO BOX, POCKET PROPOSALS, BELOW.
Ballot Proposal 06-1 – Conservation funding:
This proposal, placed on the ballot by Michigan’s House of Representatives, would amend the state Constitution “to require that money held in conservation and recreation funds can only be used for their intended purposes.” In other words, the fees we pay to enter state parks could only be used for park upkeep. Likewise, money from hunting and fishing licenses, fees for Off-Road-Vehicles and boats, and other associated outdoor fees could only be used for conservation and maintenance of the state’s outdoor recreational facilities.
BTL votes: No. While it’s a good idea to only use money for the purpose intended by the people who have paid it, and BTL is highly in favor of conservation, writing this provision into the state Constitution would tie lawmakers’ hands in the event of emergency. Amending the Constitution should be a last resort, not a means of providing discipline to lawmakers who ought to be exercising it themselves.
Ballot Proposal 06-2 – The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative:
Talk about untruth in advertising. First, this proposal wasn’t sponsored in Michigan – it was imported from California via anti-affirmative-action champion Ward Connerly. Second, the MCRI would actually hurt the cause of civil rights by banning everything from progressive contract bidding processes to gender-specific health programs offered by the state.
BTL votes: No. Women and minorities deserve better, much better, than this misguided initiative. Learn more about the anti-affirmative action ballot, Proposal 2 at: http://www.oneunitedmichigan.org
Ballot Proposal 06-3 – An act to allow the establishment of a hunting season for mourning doves:
Mourning doves don’t have enough meat on their bones to make a good snack for a two-year-old, yet some hunters want to fill their beautiful little bodies full of buckshot.
BTL votes: No. While BTL has nothing against hunting for food, killing the symbol of peace for fun is just plain wrong. Learn more about the dove-hunting amendment, Proposal 3 at: http://www.stopshootingdoves.org
Ballot Proposal 06-4 – To prohibit state and local governments from taking private property for private profit:
Remember Poletown? If this state Constitutional amendment had been law, the city of Detroit would never have been able to destroy that community for a GM plant. This proposal, which was also put on the ballot by the state House, makes sure that the government’s power of eminent domain is used only for public purposes like building roads or schools. And when eminent domain is used, this proposal would require the government to pay the property owner 125% of the market value of their property – and require the government prove that the property is being taken for a true public use.
BTL votes: Yes. No one should fear losing their home to make room for a new mall.
Ballot Proposal 06-5 – to establish mandatory school funding levels:
This proposal would increase current school funding by “approximately $565 million” and require the state to provide funding increases to all public schools, community colleges, and state universities at a rate equal to inflation. It would require the state to help pay the retirement funds of public school, community college and public university employees, and reduce the per-pupil funding gap between wealthy and poorer school districts. Those who are against the bill claim that the vast majority of the increased funding would be used for retirement funds rather than for education, however.
BTL votes: Yes. Learn more about the education Proposal 5 at: http://www.michigank16.org