Election 2012: Voter’s Guide

By Scott Sarvay

Election 2012: Voter’s Guide

October 31, 2012 Updated Nov 1, 2012 at 11:32 AM EDT

MICHIGAN (My TV 20 News at Ten) - It’s the political season and the airways are filled with so many conflicting messages that it seems to have caused a state of confusion for voters. You are being asked to make some important decisions on six very important proposals that will affect your life and that of your community. For many of you – it’s the very first time that you qualify to vote and we congratulate you on becoming part of the process.

To assist you in making your decisions in this process, TV20 Detroit has pulled the proposals and laid them out right here for your review BEFORE you go the polls. The proposals are written exactly as they will appear on the ballot.

When you check out our special news segments in the coming days, we’ll go over the proposals, and give you the information that you need so that you’ll understand what it means if you vote yes or if you vote no on the proposals for 2012.

There are six statewide proposals – each of which calls for an amendment to the Michigan’s constitution. They appear here as they will on your ballot.


Proposal 12-1
A Referendum on Public Act 4 of 2011-The Emergency Manager Law

Public Act 4 of 2011 would:
- Establish criteria to assess the financial condition of local government units, including school districts.

- Authorize Governor to appoint an emergency manager [EM] upon state finding of a financial emergency, and allow the EM to act in place of local government officials.

- Require EM to develop financial and operating plans, which may include modification or termination of contracts, reorganization of government, and determination of expenditures, services and use of assets until the emergency is resolved.

- Alternatively, authorize state-appointed review team to enter into a local government approved consent decree.

Should this law be approved? Yes [ ] No [ ]

A “Yes” vote puts the Emergency Manager Law, PA 4 of 2011, into effect. The “No” vote repeals the Emergency manager Law, PA 4 of 2011.


Proposal 12-2
A Proposal to amend the state constitution regarding collective bargaining

This proposal would:
- Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions.

- Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees’ financial support of their labor unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking.
Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements.

- Define “employer” as a person or entity employing on or more employees.

Should this proposal be approved? Yes [ ] No [ ]

The group Protect Our Jobs are promoting a “Yes” vote. You can find out more information on their views, HERE.

The Protecting Michigan Taxpayers group disagrees and are promoting a “No” vote. To find out more go, HERE.


Proposal 12-3
A Proposal to Amend the State Constitution to Establish A Standard for Renewable Energy

This proposal would:
- Require electric utilities to provide at least 25% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources, which are wind, solar, biomass and hydropower, by 2025.

- Limit to not more than 1% per year electric utility rate increases charged to consumers only to achieve compliance with the renewable energy standard.

- Allow annual extensions of the deadline to meet the 25% standard in order to prevent rate increases over the 1% limit.

- Require the legislature to enact additional laws to encourage the use of Michigan made equipment and employment of Michigan residents.

Should this proposal be approved? Yes [ ] No [ ]

MI Energy, MI Jobs supports a “Yes” vote on this proposal. You can check their web site for more information, HERE.

Those opposed and support a “No” vote is the group Care for Michigan. Their information can be found, HERE.


Proposal 12-4
A proposal to Amend the State constitution to Establish the Michigan Quality Home Care Council and Provide Collective Bargaining for In-Home Care Workers

This proposal would:
- Allow in-home care workers to bargain collectively with the Michigan Quality Home Care Council {MQHCC}. Continue the current exclusive representative of in-home care workers until modified in accordance with labor laws.

- Require MQHCC to provide training for in-home care workers, create a registry of workers who pass background checks, and provide financial services to patients to manage the cost of in-home care.

- Preserve patients’ rights to hire in-home care workers who are not referred from the MQHCC registry who are bargaining unit members.

- Authorize the MQHCC to set minimum compensation standards and terms and conditions of employment.

Should this proposal be approved? Yes [ ] No [ ]

The bipartisan group Citizens for Affordable Quality home Care supports this proposal and more information can be found , HERE.

For information on voting “No” on Proposal 4 in line with supporters of that viewpoint, Click Here.


Proposal 12-5
A Proposal to Amend the State Constitution to Limit the Enactment of New Taxes By State Government

This proposal would:
Require a 2/3 majority vote of the State House and the State Senate, or a statewide vote of the people at a November election, in order for the State of Michigan to impose new or additional taxes on taxpayers or expand the base of taxation or increasing the rate of taxation.

This section shall in now way be construed to limit or modify tax limitations otherwise created in this Constitution.

Should this proposal be approved? Yes [ ] No [ ]

The Michigan Alliance for Prosperity have their reasons outlined to support a “Yes” vote, HERE.

Defend Michigan Democracy is opposed to this proposed amendment and their views are available, HERE.


Proposal 12-6
A Proposal to Amend the State Constitution Regarding Construction of International Bridges and Tunnels

This proposal would:
- Require the approval of a majority of voters at a statewide election and in each municipality where “new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles” are to be located before the State of Michigan may expend state funds or resources for acquiring land, designing, soliciting bids for, constructing, financing, or promoting new international bridges or tunnels.

- Create a definition of “new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles” that means, “any bridge or tunnel which is not open to the public and serving traffic as of January 1, 2012.”

Should this proposal be approved? Yes [ ] No [ ]

For Proposal 6 is the group the People Should Decide who say that the people will have to pay. The information for that viewpoint can be found, HERE.

Taxpayers Against Monopolies say no to this proposal for several reasons including the impact on future crossings. Support for their views can be found, HERE.

My TV20 Detroit has worked with Rich Robinson to bring you information on the proposals in a special segment of My TV20 News at Ten. You can find out more about the Michigan Campaign Finance Network by logging onto their web site www.mcfn.org.

Information You Should Know ~ Voting Early ~ Absentee

On Tuesday, November 6, 2012 the polls will be open across the state from 7:00am until 8:00p.m. This year there are so many things to consider, that you may wish to vote prior to Election Day – which you can do.

You can request an absent ballot from the County Clerk’s office. The application must be submitted to the clerk no later than 2:00pm on the Saturday prior to the election.

Early voting is available at your County Clerks Office as well as Wayne County Community College which is open now thorough Monday, November 5, 2012.

Wayne County Community College
Northwest Campus, 8200 W. Outer Drive at Southfield Freeway
Voting Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wayne County Community College
Eastern Campus, 5901 Conner
Voting Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Department of Elections
2978 W. Grand Boulevard
Voting Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oakland County Clerk’s Office
Elections Division
1200 North Telegraph, Dept. 417
Pontiac, MI 48341

Macomb County Clerk's Office
40 North Main (1st Floor)
Mount Clemens, MI 48043

Remember that Wayne County Residents will have two pages to complete when you are voting. If you pick up an absentee ballot it must be return to the clerk’s office in your community, not later than 8:00pm on Election Day.

Check out these other resources where you’ll be able to find information on all of the candidate races, and the state proposals. Here are a couple of sites to help:

Vote411.org OR Publius.org

The League of Women Voter’s Michigan

You’ll even be able to find your voting district and voting site information.

Don’t Forget! Voting a straight ticket for your favorite party will not include casting votes for Michigan Supreme Court Justice, Judges for Circuit or Probate court, and community college trustees.

What are your thoughts CLICK HERE to leave us a "My2Cents” comment.

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