Unraveling MI proposal 12-2 - WNEM TV 5

Unraveling Proposal 12-2: What's at stake?

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Michigan voters have some unprecedented decisions to make in the upcoming November general election. For instance, take Proposal 2.

"Proposal 2 could prohibit schools from removing employees with criminal records," one television ad opposing Proposal 2 alleges.

Ads for the controversial ballot item are even featuring officials in law enforcement you may recognize.

"Yes on 2 doesn't change any laws that protect our kids," an ad supporting the Prop 2 refutes.

But we asked voters if the ads complicate Proposal 2 or clarify it.

"It tries to sway you the wrong way. I'd rather read at the election what I'm going to be voting on," one voter said.

But conversely, another voter was clear on what she will be asked at the polls when it comes to Proposal 2.

"Proposal 2 is a proposition that says that we can have collective bargaining as far as different jobs," she explained.

Political analyst Dr. Bill Bateman at Northwood University says that voter is right. At the end of the day, Proposal 2 has nothing to do with whether kids are safe in school.

"There's a lot of hyperbole and misleading information on both sides and that's not uncommon when proposals are being added," Bateman said.

So TV5 set out to strip away the ads and focus solely on what Proposal 2 says. It would grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and collectively bargain through labor unions.

"It will require employees to participate financially in unions," Bateman added.

Proposal 2 would also invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively.

"It will trump state law in terms of working conditions and hours where collective bargaining agreements exist," Bateman further explained.

Finally, Proposal 2 would override any state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws violate union agreements.

As Bateman puts, "it {Proposal 2} will supercede 50 years of labor law in the state of Michigan."

Both supporters and opponents of Proposal 2 say the ads are produced with the intent that voters already have a base of knowledge on the controversial piece of legislation. They're encouraging voters to read up on the proposal's language before heading to the polls.

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