June 24, 2016 MichiganVotes Weekly Roll Call Report

Noteworthy proposals to amend the state constitution

The House and Senate are on a summer break, so rather than votes this report contains some recently proposed constitutional amendments of interest. To become law these require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate and approval by voters.


House Joint Resolution GG: Add “sex” to constitution’s ban on denying equal protection

Introduced by Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to add “sex” to “religion, race, color or national origin” in the state constitution’s ban on denying equal protection under the law on the basis of these characteristics. This is already in the state civil rights law, but not in the Constitution of 1963. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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House Joint Resolution II: Ban lawmakers offices in same building with a lobbyist

Introduced by Rep. Bill LaVoy (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to prohibit legislator’s Lansing offices from being in the same building where a lobbyist has an office. The measure in part represents a protest against the Senate's plan to sell the body's current office building and move into a new building that contains some lobbyists' offices. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution JJ: Limit legislature’s session dates

Introduced by Rep. Edward McBroom (R), to limit legislative sessions each year to January 1 to June 15, plus an additional 21 days starting in September. This is approximately the schedule the House and Senate have followed in recent years. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution LL: “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” spending cap (TABOR)

Introduced by Rep. Martin Howrylak (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to cap annual state government spending increases at the rate of inflation plus increases in the state population, with any amount over that returned to taxpayers. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution MM: Make it easier to fire civil servants

Introduced by Rep. Kevin Cotter (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to limit the power of a state civil service commission and give state government department heads the authority to discipline or dismiss an employee “for conduct that directly and negatively impacts the department's ability to accomplish its statutory duties in a fair, timely, equitable, and transparent manner.” Employees would retain the ability to appeal to the civil service commission, which would retain its authority to reverse the action if it is deemed arbitrary or capricious. Reported from committee, pending before the full House. See also House Bill 5677.


House Joint Resolution NN: Revise allowable School Aid Fund uses

Introduced by Rep. Kristy Pagan (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to eliminate a provision that allows tax revenue earmarked to the state “School Aid Fund” to be used for higher education, including state universities and community colleges. In other words, tax dollars earmarked to this fund could only be spent on K-12 public schools. 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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