2012-10-18 / Front Page

Ballot: 6 state, 2 county proposals seek approval

MANISTIQUE – On the “Proposal Section” of the Nov. 6 ballot, voters will have the chance to vote on six state and two county proposals.

Two county proposals appearing on the ballot are a request for a Michigan State University Extension tax rate limitation increase and a Manistique Area Schools operating millage renewal.

In the MSU Extension

Schoolcraft County proposition, the organization asks whether the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all ad valorem property in Schoolcraft County, Michigan, be increased up to a maximum of 0.179 mills (17.9 cents) on each $1,000 of taxable value for a period of four years (2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 inclusive), for the purpose of funding MSU Extension services in Schoolcraft County should be approved. The proposition adds that the tax increase would generate estimated revenue of approximately $58,000 during the first calendar year of its enactment.

The Manistique Area Schools’ operating millage renewal proposal states: “This proposal will allow the school district to levy the statutory rate of 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance and renews a millage that will expire with the 2013 tax levy.” It asks voters if the currently authorized millage rate limitation of 20 mills ($20 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) on the amount of taxes, which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Manistique Area Schools, Schoolcraft County, Michigan, be renewed for a period of 9 years, 2014 to 2022, inclusive, to provide funds for operating purposed. It projects revenue collected by the school district if the millage is approved and levied in 2013 to be an estimated $772,000.

For state-wide ballot proposals, voters will have six on which to decide.

Proposal 12-1 is a referendum on “Public Act 4 of 2011: The Emergency Manager Law”. The referendum asks if Public Act 4 should be approved. The act would: establish criteria to assess the financial condition of local government units, including school districts; authorize the governor to appoint an emergency manager upon state finding of a financial emergency, and allow the EM to act in place of local government officials; require the EM to develop financial and operating plans, which may include modification or termination of contracts, reorganization of government, and determination of expenditures, services, and use of assets until the emergency is resolved; and alternatively, authorize a state-appointed review team to enter into a local government approved consent decree.

Proposal 12-2 is a proposal to amend the state constitution “Regarding Collective Bargaining”. If approved, the proposal would: grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collective through labor unions; invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees’ financial support of their labor unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking; Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements; and define “employer” as a person or entity employing one or more employees.

In Proposal 12-3, voters are asked to decide if a proposal to amend the state constitution to “Establish a Standard for Renewable Energy” should be approved. The proposal would: require electric utilities to proved at least 25 percent of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources, which are defined as wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower, by 2025; limit to not more than 1 percent per year electric utility rate increases charged to consumers only to achieve compliance with the renewable energy standard; allow annual extensions of the deadline to meet the 25 percent standard in order to prevent rate increases over the 1 percent limit; and require the legislature to enact additional laws to encourage the use of Michiganmade equipment and employment of Michigan residents.

Proposal 12-4, a proposal to amend the state constitution to “Establish the Michigan Quality Home Care Council and Provide Collective Bargaining for In-Home Care Workers”, also appears on November’s ballot. This proposal, if approved, would: allow in-home care workers to bargain collectively with the Michigan Quality Home Care Council; continue the current exclusive representative of in-home care workers until modified in accordance with labor laws; require MQHCC to provide training for inhome care workers, create a registry of workers who pass background checks; and provide financial services to patients to manage the cost of in-home care; preserve patients’ rights to hire in-home care workers who are not referred from the MQHCC registry who are bargaining unit members; and authorize the MQHCC to set minimum compensation standards and terms and conditions of employment.

In Proposal 12-5, voters are asked if a proposal to amend the state constitution to “Limit the Enactment of New Taxes by State Government” should be approved. The proposal would: require a 2/3 majority vote of the state House and the state Senate or a statewide vote of the people at a November election, in order for the state of Michigan to impose new or additional taxes on taxpayers or expand the base of taxation or increasing the rate of taxation; and be in no way construed to limit or modify tax limitations otherwise created in the constitution.

Proposal 12-6, a proposal to amend the state constitution regarding “Construction of International Bridges and Tunnels” also appears on the ballot. This proposal, if approved, would: require the approval of a majority of voters at a statewide election and in each municipality where “new international bridges of tunnels for motor vehicles” are to be located before the state of Michigan may expend state funds or resources for acquiring land, designing, soliciting bids for, constructing, financing, or promoting new international bridges or tunnels; create a definition of “new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles” that means, “any bridge or tunnel which is not open to the public and serving traffic as of January 1, 2012.”

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