On February 26, 2015, the Board of State Canvassers will hold a meeting to approve language for the ballot proposal for the May 5 special election. If you’re wondering what’s taking them so long, it’s because besides the rules not applying to submitting ballot initiatives when the government does it, for some reason, there’s more than one version of the proposal being considered. Seven different groups submitted their own language for the board to consider, so they will have to read every version offered before making a choice. There is also the issue that they had to squeeze the total proposal into less than 100 words.
When you can’t easily phrase a ballot proposal into 100 words or less, you know you have a bad ballot proposal.
This proposal, currently being called proposal 1 so when the Board of State Canvassers pick the real name for it people will be even more confused about what’s going on, claims if passed will generate $1.2 billion dollars to fix Michigan’s roads, bridges and all of the other infrastructure that’s been neglected since John Engler was governor. If you’re thinking $1.2 billion won’t cover that much road repair, you’re right.
Safe Roads Yes, the only group in favor of Proposal 1, submitted language for consideration along with six others – all opposed to the ballot initiative. Of the other six (and the Up North Progressive read them all), the best proposal language is that submitted by John La Pietra of the Michigan Green Party:
A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO RAISE SALES AND USE TAXES,
EXEMPT ROAD FUELS FROM THOSE TAXES, AND CHANGE THE PERMITTED USES OF
FUNDS RAISED BY THOSE TAXES.
This amendment would:
- raise base state sales and use tax rates from 4% to 5% (and overall rates from 6% to 7%);
- dedicate 12.3% of the 5% base rate of use taxes to the state school-aid fund;
- exempt gasoline and Diesel fuel from state sales and use taxes; and
- remove “higher education” from the definition of permitted uses of the state school-aid fund,
replacing it with “public community colleges, public career and technical education programs,
[and] scholarships for students attending either public community colleges or public career and
technical education programs”.
Should the amendment be adopted?
Yes [ ]
No [ ]
The Board of State Canvassers meeting is open to the public. Anyone wanting to speak as a witness needs to put their request in writing and submit it to the board with their name and address no later than the day before the hearing.