2018 Michigan ballot proposal preview

Which ballot proposals might end up being voted on in the 2018 election?

The 2018 election is shaping up to be potentially be quite similar to 2012 in Michigan, when six proposals were presented to voters on the statewide ballot. In 2018, in addition to electing a new Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and congressional and state representatives, Michigan voters are likely to be presented with multiple ballot questions for their consideration.

If you want more background on how a proposal gets on the ballot, take a look at this MSU Extension article on that topic. To put it simply, a group wishing to present a question to voters needs to gather enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. In 2018, that number is 252,523 for initiated legislation, and 315,654 for a constitutional amendment.

So far, 10 petitions have filed initiative petition forms with the State Board of Canvassers, indicating their intent to collect signatures. Three groups have already submitted the required number of signatures. If the signatures are determined to be valid and sufficient, initiated legislation is presented to the state legislature, which has 40 days to act. If adopted, the proposal becomes law. If rejected, or if no action is taken, the proposal goes on the ballot for a public vote. If a constitutional amendment secures enough signatures, it goes directly to the ballot in the next general election.

Here’s a quick summary of the petitions that have already submitted signatures, and a couple that have also garnered significant interest.

Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

  • What would it do? This initiated legislation would allow Michigan residents over the age of 21 to possess, use, grow, and sell marijuana for recreational uses.
  • Status: More than 360,000 signatures were turned in (252,523 required) in November. The Bureau of Elections is currently reviewing the signatures

Protecting Michigan Taxpayers (Prevailing Wage Ban)

  • What would it do? This proposal would repeal Public Act 166 of 1965, which sets a prevailing wage for state-funded projects. This wage is usually union-scale wages and benefits.
  • Status: More than 380,000 (252,523 required) signatures were submitted in November and are currently under review by the Bureau of Elections

Voters Not Politicians (Redistricting Reform)

  • What would it do? This proposed constitutional amendment would create an independent citizens commission made up of 13 registered Michigan voters, taking redistricting power away from state lawmakers. Each major party would have four members, and the remaining five would be independent voters.
  • Status: Over 425,000 signatures (315,654 required) were submitted in December and are currently under review.

MI Time to Care (Paid Sick Leave)

  • What would it do? This proposal would allow Michigan workers not currently receiving paid sick time to earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, earning up to nine paid days of sick time per year.
  • Status: Still collecting signatures. The group’s 180 day deadline for collecting signatures is in early spring, and supporters say they are confident.

Clean MI Committee (Part-Time Legislature)

  • What would it do? This constitutional amendment would turn Michigan’s legislature into a part-time legislature that would conclude its session by April each year. It would also lower lawmaker’s salaries.
  • Status: Still collecting signatures. Former State Representative Tom McMillin, who is leading the effort, recently said that the group still needed about 180,000 signatures before its January deadline.

You can find the most recent status for each petition on the Michigan Board of Canvassers website, and further research is highly encouraged.

If there are statewide proposals on the ballot in November, Michigan State University Extension will develop analyses of them and will likely hold ballot proposal forums around the state in the weeks before the election.

Those in Michigan State University Extension that focus on Government and Public Policy provide various training programs, which are available to be presented in your county.  Contact your local Government and Public Policy educator for more information.

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