November 21, 2014, MichiganVotes Weekly Vote Report

Constitutional amendment proposals

While the legislature is in a two week recess with no voting, the Roll Call Report examines recent constitutional amendment proposals of interest.

Note: There will be no Roll Call Report during Thanksgiving week. The Report will return on Dec. 5.

House Joint Resolution KK: Replace House and Senate with unicameral legislature

Introduced by Rep. Martin Howrylak (R), to place before voters in the next general election a Constitutional amendment to establish a nonpartisan unicameral legislature (instead of a separate House and Senate) with 110 districts apportioned on the basis of formulas specified in the resolution. Legislators would have four year terms and term limits would be repealed. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

HJRs B and MM, SJR Z: Repeal constitutional prohibition on graduated state income tax

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Introduced by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D), Rep. Jim Townsend (D) and Sen. Rebekah Warren (D), respectively, to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to repeal an existing prohibition on a graduated income tax (as opposed to Michigan's current flat tax). The measures do not specify a rate structure, which would be left to future legislatures. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Joint Resolution BB: Call for restrictions on corporation and nonprofit political spending

Introduced by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D), to submit an application to Congress calling for a “convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution,” limited to proposing an amendment to “address concerns such as those raised by the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission,” which affirmed that unions and “corporations” (including non-profit groups motivated by ideological or political concerns) possess the same right already recognized for individuals to spend however much they want on independent political expenditures. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Joint Resolution NN: Call for congressional term limits convention

Introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R), to submit an application to Congress calling for a “convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution,” limited to proposing an amendment that prohibits members of congress from being in office for more than 12 years (combined House and Senate terms). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Joint Resolution OO: Require congress approve large-impact rules

Introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R), to submit an application to Congress calling for a “convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution,” limited to proposing an amendment establishing three year sunsets on all federal departments without congressional re-authorization, and requiring congressional approval of all major administrative regulations that impose an economic burden exceeding $100 million. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Joint Resolution PP: Call for limits on federal interstate commerce regulation

Introduced by Rep. Tom McMillin (R), to submit an application to Congress calling for a “convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution,” limited to proposing an amendment clarifying that Congress's power to regulate commerce does not extend to activity within a state, whether or not it affects interstate commerce, or extend to compelling an individual or entity to participate in commerce or trade. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Joint Resolution DD: Revise allowable School Aid Fund uses

Introduced by Sen. Bruce Caswell (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to replace state constitutional language allowing tax revenue earmarked to the state “School Aid Fund” to be used for “higher education,” with new language limiting this to community colleges. In other words, tax dollars earmarked to this fund could only be spent on K-12 public schools and on community colleges. See also SJRs H, U and AA, and HJR Z, which would restrict School Aid Fund use to K-12 schools only. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Joint Resolution EE: Make state constitution “gender neutral”

Introduced by Sen. Steve Bieda (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to edit the document to make it “gender neutral.” For example, the current constitution adopted in 1963 establishes that “Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.” Under the proposal, that would become “for the defense of himself or herself.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

 

SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit http://www.MichiganVotes.org.


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