Proposal One authorizes the governor to appoint emergency managers when local government units and school districts are in financial distress. Proposal Two amends the state constitution to guarantee a right for collective bargaining and also impacts numerous labor laws. State Rep. Colbeck had many concerns about Proposal Two. "It will cause a $1.6 billion tax increase, by peeling back our fiscal reforms," he declared. Meanwhile, State Sen. Gleason was solidly in support of Proposal Two, saying, "I think all workers need to be protected, so I give it an emphatic ˜yes'."
Proposal Three would amend the state constitution to require electrical utilities to generate at least 25% of their power using "renewable resources" by 2025. State Rep. Haveman was against the Proposal, saying he was suspicious that the statistics misrepresented outdated data from several years ago.
Proposal Four would amend the state constitution to allow collective bargaining rights for in-home healthcare workers. Proposal Five calls for a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds vote for every increase in Michigan taxes. State Rep. Colbeck said that he signed a "no new taxes" pledge and intends to stick with it. Countering that, State Rep. Hobbs said that the Proposal would be far too restrictive, pointing out it would have prevented the state legislature from repealing the Michigan Business Tax. State Rep. Haveman wants Proposal Five defeated, stating a concern about a surrender of legislative power.
Proposal Six proved to be a popular topic of the discussion; it seeks to amend the Michigan Constitution to require a statewide vote of the people to approve the construction of new international bridges and tunnels. The Proposal's true target is the New International Trade Crossing (NITC). Opinions were mixed; State Sen. Gleason was emphatically in favor of the NITC, stating that it was necessary to enable both Canadian and U.S. automakers to maintain "just-in-time" manufacturing schedules.
At the end of the panel discussion, the Chairman of the CAM Political Action Committee (PAC), Bruce M. Pregler, a partner at Facca, Richter & Pregler, PC, Troy, addressed the crowd concerning PAC donations, to ensure that their voice is heard legislatively in the future. At the conclusion of the event, the panelists were able to shake hands, answer a few audience questions and network before everyone departed.
With the General Election just one month away the CAM Government Affairs Committee wanted to provide a Ballot Proposal Guide for your consideration as you deliberate the pros and cons of each measure. You may find it helpful to take the Guide with you into the ballot box on November 6th. CAM encourages you to make your voice heard on behalf of our industry. To download the Ballot Proposal Guide, please click here. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Baker, CAM Director of Labor Relations and Government Affairs, at CAM (248) 972-1000.