So, this post will be for my Michigan readers. Anyone who doesn't live in Michigan is more than welcome to read it, but most of you could likely give a rip as to what sort of crap we're voting on here in the Magnificent Mitten.
Proposal 1: Here in Michigan, we have what is called an "Emergency Manager Law (EML)". In a nutshell, if your city, county, township, or school district has been so amazingly mismanaged that you have very little money left to run your governmental body, the state government will appoint an emergency manager to 'take over' the running of your organization. Proposal 1 is a referendum on that law. It makes us decide whether we should continue to allow the governor to appoint these emergency managers or whether to allow the elected politicians to continue. This law originated under the previous governor, a Democrat, in an attempt to help the Detroit School District, city of Flint, city of Benton Harbor, and all kinds of other areas. Apparently, the unions are perfectly fine with a Democrat appointing an all-knowing/all-seeing financial leader of a governmental unit, but once there is a Republican governor, they want to repeal it.
I am basing my vote on this upon the performance of the law. Thus far, the areas that have been affected by the EML have continued to function, some of them have improved their performance. Detroit Public Schools and the City of Benton Harbor have actually been moving toward a better financial position. That's all I need to know. The fact that the unions are pissy about the law is an added bonus. Anything I can do to piss them off definitely gets my vote. So, yes on prop 1.
Proposal 2: In an attempt to ensure that Michigan does not follow Wisconsin in their renegotiation of contracts with governmental employees, the government union employees have pushed this turd onto the ballot. This allegedly protects collective bargaining by ensuring it's part of the constitution. Unfortunately, most people in the state don't realize that collective bargaining is already protected in a number of laws. This proposal is just a union power-grab for the teachers union and government employee unions. It essentially repeals laws that have been passed over the past few years that have allowed school districts to fire teachers who violate the laws or public trust with the students. It would make it much more difficult for school districts and lawmakers to adapt as times change. It also would prohibit any law that gives workers the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union. Needless to say, I'm voting against proposal two for multiple reasons, the biggest of which is pissing off the unions.
Proposal 3: The environmental lobby has proposed a constitutional amendment to require that by 2025, Michigan will generate at least 25% of their electricity from renewable sources. While in principle I agree with this, to write it into the constitution is a horrible mistake. Just like we shouldn't write drivers license rules into the constitution, we shouldn't write energy policy into the constitution. Additionally, the cost of electricity in Michigan is already higher than the surrounding states, for multiple reasons. We already have a target of 10% by 2015 and should continue to work toward higher amounts, but as of right now, the technology just isn't there to keep it affordable. Our families and companies aren't in good enough shape to take yet another increase in costs. No on Proposal 3. Not sure if there are any unions I'm irritating by this, but if there are, BONUS!
Proposal 4: I've already posted my position on prop 4. The SEIU forced unionization onto home healthcare workers. Most homecare workers don't make very much and to force them to pay union dues, seems overbearing and idiotic. See my older post for more reasons to piss off the SEIU.
Proposal 5: Prop 5 would require a 2/3 vote of the legislature to pass any tax increases. Ok, so here I'm going to have an issue. I don't like the fact that we have to have 2/3 of the House/Senate to pass an increase, but a simple minority can lower taxes. Yes, I love lower taxes and want to see less taxes in the state. However, I think that this could be an issue going forward as economic situations change and it doesn't allow our lawmakers the flexibility they need to clean up the tax code. They would need a 2/3 majority to get rid of loopholes and complicate the budget process. We've had a history of budgetary idiocy here in Michigan, so any level of complexity added to the process will continue to cause financial issues here. I like the idea, but I don't like the law. No on Prop 5. I wonder if that'll piss off the UAW.....hmm....
Proposal 6: We have one bridge in Detroit to Canada, the Ambassador bridge. It's owned by Matty Maroun. Who would think that an independent entity could own a piece of transportation infrastructure? But he does. And he's pissed that people are going to possibly use someone else's bridge (if we build it). This proposal requires that any future construction of international crossings be approved by the people via a vote. Even if it doesn't cost them a damn thing in tax dollars. The current proposal for a bridge has Canada footing the bill for the entire construction project, making up the costs in tolls. I don't see a problem with this and in an article I just read, apparently the UAW is aligning themselves with Maroun. If that's not reason enough to vote against 6, I don't know what is. No cost to the Michigan tax payers AND we get to piss off the UAW? Oh, where do I sign up?