Michigan Votes

Apr 2, 2011

• House Joint Resolution S and Senate Joint Resolution I would require all employers to bargain with unions. Introduced by Rep. Richard Hammel (D) and Sen. Gretchen Whitmer (D), respectively, to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to declare collective bargaining as a right for “every person,” including government employees. Under current law (but not under the constitution), public schools and local governments are required to bargain with government employee unions to determine the pay and benefits of their employees. Under the proposed amendment, that law could not be repealed, and the mandate would be extended to private sector employers as well. Referred to committee; no further action at this time.

• House Joint Resolution R would require the Legislature’s approval to increase state employee pay or benefits. Introduced by Rep. Eileen Kowall (R), it would place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to prohibit the state Civil Service Commission from increasing government employee compensation and benefits without prior approval of the Legislature and governor. Under current law, the Legislature has 60 days to halt pay or benefit hikes already granted by the commission, but can do so only with a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate. Referred to committee; no further action at this time.

• House Joint Resolution N would eliminate Civil Service Commission. Introduced by Rep. Marty Knollenberg (R), it would place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to eliminate the state Civil Service Commission. The CSC has the responsibility for overseeing the state’s workforce and setting job descriptions, duties and compensation. Referred to committee; no further action at this time.

• Senate Joint Resolution K would give local governments power to impose sales tax. Introduced by Sen. Bert Johnson (D), it would place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to give local governments the power to impose a sales tax of up to 4 percent on merchandise and services. A vote of the residents would be required for a local government to impose a sales tax. Referred to committee; no further action at this time.

• House Joint Resolution L and Senate Joint Resolution J would allow graduated state income tax. Introduced by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D) and Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), respectively, to place before voters in the next general election the current prohibition on a graduated income tax, as opposed to Michigan’s current flat tax. The measure does not specify a rate structure. Once the Constitution is changed, the Legislature could set rates without the approval of the voters. Referred to committee; no further action at this time.

• Senate Joint Resolution F would ban welfare for illegal aliens. Introduced by Sen. Joe Hune (R), it would place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to prohibit the state from giving any kind of welfare or financial assistance to illegal aliens. Referred to committee; no further action at this time.

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