Proposal 1 is a referendum on the recently passed Emergency Manager Act, an important law that keeps cities, townships and school districts from being forced into bankruptcy when things get tough. Less than 1 percent of governments or school districts in Michigan have come under an emergency manager, and we believe that retaining this law is necessary for those fiscally distressed entities. We are voting yes.
Proposals 2 through 6 are constitutional amendments. We ask that you take a step back from all the propaganda you are seeing and question whether constitutional amendments are appropriate.
Proposal 2 would adversely impact job creation in Michigan by repealing hundreds of reforms currently in place. No other state has this type of language in its constitution. It is backed by several special interests groups that want to hijack the Constitution for their own benefit. We are voting no.
Proposal 3: Requiring 25 percent of Michigan's electricity to come from renewable resources by 2025 sounds like a great idea, but it will cost the state's taxpayers far too much. No other state has enshrined a renewable energy portfolio standard in its constitution. We are voting no.
Proposal 4 would unionize home health care workers, including family members who stay home to take care of sick relatives. A portion of these relatives' modest state Medicaid payments will be sent to unions against their will. This is a power grab by one union looking for more members. We are voting no.
Proposal 5 would amend the state Constitution and require a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of the Legislature or a majority of the state's voters to approve a state income tax hike, a new tax or broaden the tax base. We agree that tax increases should always be avoided, but changing the Constitution is going too far. If this proposal would have been on the books last year, it would have prohibited us from eliminating the job-killing Michigan Business Tax and replacing it with a corporate income tax. We are voting no.
Proposal 6 would require a statewide and local vote on any international bridges or tunnels built in Michigan. Transportation policy is complicated and should not be enshrined in our Constitution. No other state has language in its constitution regarding international bridges and tunnels. We are voting no.
When you go to the polls, you will be reading a condensed version of the actual constitutional amendments. Please go to the Secretary of State's website, michigan.gov/sos, and look in the elections section to read the full language of each proposal before you head to the polls.
This is an important election. On Proposal 1, we'll be voting yes; and no on all the rest. We encourage you to do so as well.
State Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-West Olive
State Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township