Michiganders headed to the polls this November could be faced with more ballot initiatives than they've seen in the last 30 years. Here is a breakdown of the six currently in line to possibly be placed on the ballot. A final decision as to which proposals make the ballot will be announced by the Secretary of State's office in August or September.
The People Should Decide, a group that wants to give Michigan voters the right to weigh in on future international bridges, has turned in about 609,000 petition signatures to put the measure on the November ballot. About 322,610 valid signatures are needed to make the Nov. 6 ballot. If the measure passes, Michigan voters would have to approve the building of any international bridge between Michigan and Canada. Support comes from the owners of the Ambassador Bridge, who don't want a competing bridge built between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. Gov. Rick Snyder reached with a deal with Canadian officials last month to build a second bridge. He says the ballot proposal has no bearing because state money's not involved.
Citizens for More Michigan Jobs, a group behind a push to bring new casinos to Michigan, has turned in 509,777 petition signatures to the Bureau of Elections and 322,609 valid signatures are needed to get the measure on the Nov. ballot. The group wants voters to allow new casinos in Detroit, Pontiac, Grand Rapids, Romulus, Birch Run, Macomb County's Clinton Township, Wexford County's Clam Lake Township near Cadillac and Clinton County's DeWitt Township near Lansing. Another group called Michigan is Yours seeks a ballot proposal for casinos in Detroit and six other cities. Most types of gambling expansion have to be approved by statewide and local votes.
The Michigan Alliance for Prosperity, a group that wants to change the Michigan Constitution to require a supermajority vote to raise taxes, submitted more than 613,000 signatures to the secretary of state's office. The measure needs 322,609 valid signatures to make the Nov. 6 ballot. Group president President Lana Theis says requiring a two-thirds legislative vote to raise state taxes rather than a simple majority is good because it "will require agreement on both sides" of the aisle. The executive director of the liberal group Progress Michigan calls the measure an "extreme Tea Party proposal." Zach Pohl says it "would hamstring future legislatures and force drastic cuts" to education, roads, and public safety.
Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs, a group that wants to require that 25% of the state's energy be generated from renewable sources by 2025, turned in 530,000 signatures. The proposal backed by environmentalists, several labor organizations and the makers of solar- and wind-energy equipment.
Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care, a group that is looking to require the state of Michigan to maintain a registry of home health care workers and preserve the union that represents them. The group, which is backed by the Service Employees International Union and disability rights advocates, turned in 550,000 signatures to get their issue on the Nov. ballot.
Protect Our Jobs, a group seeking to bar the state's legislature and governor from setting regulations that would affect collective bargaining agreements between public sector unions and their employers, has turned in 684,286 signatures. The major union-backed proposal would block efforts by legislatures and governor, except to bar strikes by public employees.
A seventh proposal that could make its way onto the ballot would strike down the state's Emergency Manager law.
A final decision as to which proposals make the ballot will be announced by the Secretary of State's office in August or September.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.