Board of Canvassers Deadlocks on Proposal to Protect Working Families
The State Board of Canvassers failed today to approve a proposal to allow citizens to vote on a proposal to protect Michigan’s working families by ensuring collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.
The campaign immediately filed a motion with the Michigan Supreme Court to bypass the Court of Appeals and let the state’s highest court determine whether citizens will have the opportunity to vote on the proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The 2-2 deadlock decision by the State Board of Canvassers comes less than two weeks after the attorney general, at the request of Gov. Rick Snyder, issued a politically motivated and faulty legal opinion opposing the ballot initiative.
“The initiative meets all legal requirements. The attorney general’s role is to represent the state in legal matters, not interfere with ballot proposals,” said legal expert Andrew Nickelhoff.
“There is no legal reason this ballot proposal should not be placed before voters on Nov. 6.” Nickelhoff said.
Schuette’s opinion flies in the face of a ruling he made in 2004, when he was a Michigan Court of Appeals judge. He rejected an argument from the Coalition to Protect Affirmative Action that is similar to his opinion on our ballot proposal.
The Board of Canvassers already approved the petition’s technical form in March and the coalition submitted nearly 700,000 signatures in support of the initiative, more than twice the legal requirement.
The proposal adds one paragraph to one section of the constitution and clarifies the civil service section. It is similar to other single-issue amendments such as ones dealing with affirmative action, stem cell research and defining marriage.
The State Supreme Court will now rule whether to allow a vote on the initiative and prevent corporate special interests from silencing the voice of Michigan voters.
Collective bargaining brings both sides together to negotiate fair wages and benefits, safer working conditions and protection from arbitrary decisions by employers. It allows firefighters and police officers to negotiate for life-saving equipment, gives nurses protection so they can speak up about a patient’s care and ensures that teachers are able to keep class sizes small so that kids receive a better education.
For more information, contact Dan Lijana (313)355-4262