Ballot Proposals, Big Labor's Bark, and PO Boxes

Notables and Quotables - click to enlarge

Fall brings back familiar sights, sounds and smells of autumn in Michigan — the distinct, crisp air flavored with the aroma of burning leaves; the beauty of a fall color tour alongside Michigan’s roadways; and the noise of leaf blowers showing the season who’s the boss of our lawns.

The fall also signals the beginning of football season; the time to pull our sweaters and sweatshirts out from hiding; and the time to travel to the apple orchard and sample doughnuts and cider.

It’s also the season for ballot proposals. Next year, voters could consider up to eight issues on the November ballot. They include repealing the prevailing wage, hiking the corporate income tax, mandating employer-paid sick time, banning the use of fracking, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana (two different proposals), imposing price controls on medical services, and instituting mail-only voting. Capitol Affairs Specialist Jack Spencer breaks down these proposals in our feature article.

Fall also ushers in the beginning of the school year. The Mackinac Center will release several videos showcasing the value of educational choice from some of Michigan’s public charter schools.

Should politicians fear losing their jobs if they support labor reform? Based on a recently released timeline by the Mackinac Center’s labor policy director, the answer is “no.” F. Vincent Vernuccio researched labor reform campaigns in five states and found overwhelming support for candidates who favor more freedom for workers.

Isn’t it frustrating to get returned mail when you accidentally send it to the wrong address? How much more frustrating would that be if the organization you wrote to admitted to receiving your letter, but returned it because you didn’t use a specific post office box number that you had not been aware of? That’s exactly what happened to some teachers looking to opt out of the Michigan Education Association. MEA officials responded to letters sent by members by telling them they had to send a letter to another post office box number if they wished to opt out. It’s just one more hurdle the MEA has put in front of those who want to exercise their right to choose whether to financially support the union.

And speaking of trying to force people to pay for things they don’t want or agree with, the UAW tried to compel Michigan civil service employees to pay the union or risk being fired. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of the workers and said these state workers are free to exercise their right-to-work freedoms if they so choose. The high court agreed with the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation’s argument that these required agency fees were like a tax on employees and that the Civil Service Commission had no authority to tax.

Rest assured, as you adjust to the changing of the seasons once again, the Mackinac Center continues its unchanging mission of advancing liberty and opportunity for all people.