Making Sense of Michigan's Ballot Proposals

Chart explains supporters, opponents and what the six proposals mean for Michigan

Michigan voters face a pivotal election in November with six statewide proposals that could reshape the state's constitution and how struggling cities and school districts survive.

The issue getting the most attention is Proposal 2, which would enshrine collective bargaining rights into the state constitution and allow government union contracts to overrule laws made by elected representatives. At least 170 laws have been identified that could be affected and taxpayers could be forced to pay at least $1.6 billion a year in costs related to laws that the unions could rollback if the proposal passes.

The unions also are making a significant push to lock a forced unionization scheme into the state constitution that has netted the Service Employees International Union more than $32 million since it was created under the administration of former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Proposal 4 would allow the SEIU to continue taking money from the elderly and disabled in Michigan if voters approve the proposal.

Prop 4 supporters say it would provide safe, in-home care for seniors and the disabled, but they make no mention of the fact that all the things they are promising already exist and will continue to exist if Prop 4 fails.

Other proposals include a renewable energy mandate that would require the state's electric utilities provide at least 25 percent of their power from select energy sources by the year 2025; a proposal to require a 2/3 vote of the State House and State Senate, or a vote of the people for any tax increases or new taxes; a vote on requiring a public voter before an international bridge or tunnel could be built; and a referendum on whether the state's emergency manager law should be kept.

The nearby chart will help voters sort through the proposals to see who supports and who opposes them as well as what they would mean for Michigan (to get a pdf version of the chart, click here).