Vote For Representatives

This Tuesday, November 6, 2012 we will have the chance to vote for many of our representatives in national, state and local elections. Here in Michigan we will be voting on six ballot proposals which are of tremendous importance to the well being of the state. Below you may find the language for these proposals as well as a brief explanation where warranted along with uselful links.

PROPOSAL 12-1

A REFERENDUM ON PUBLIC ACT 4 OF 2011 – THE EMERGENCY MANAGER LAW

Public Act 4 of 2011 would:

Establish criteria to assess the financial condition of local government units, including school districts.

Authorize Governor to appoint an emergency manager (EM) upon state finding of a financial emergency, and allow the EM to act in place of local government officials.

Require 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.

Alternatively, authorize state-appointed review team to enter into a local government approved consent decree.

Should this law be approved?

Explanation: The Emergency Manager act has been severely controversial yet arguably beneficial. The main criticism of the act is that it tramples our voting rights and the ability to choose our representatives, hitting at the very core of democracy. Emergency Managers throughout the state, where they have been appointed, have rendered the city councils, and other representative bodies, mere figure heads. This is, obviously, problematic.

On the other hand, supporters of the act counter that the Emmergency Managers have been life saviors for communities where the elected leaders had de facto abdicated their duties by way of gridlock, negligence or whatever the case may have been.

We are recommending that you vote NO to this Law given the dire constitutional consequences that it carries with it. However, we understand the need for the ability to intervene in dramatic situations in cities throughout the state, so our recommendation comes with a heave heart and a great dose of scepticism, and we certainly understand the opposing view.

STATE PROPOSAL 12-2

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION REGARDING COLLECTIVE BARGAININGThis proposal would:

Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively 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.

Define employer as a person or entity employing one or more employees.

Should this proposal be approved?

STATE PROPOSAL 12-3

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ESTABLISH A STANDARD FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

This proposal would:

Require electric utilities to provide at least 25% of their annual retail sales of electricity from renewable energy sources, which are wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower, by 2025.

Limit to not more than 1% 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% standard in order to prevent rate increases over the 1% limit.

Require the legislature to enact additional laws to encourage the use of Michigan made equipment and employment of Michigan residents.

Should this proposal be approved?

Answer: We support whole heartedly this proposal even though, as attorneys, we believe that the right place for this law to emerge is not the Michigan Constitution, rather as a law approved by our legislature and signed by our governor.

STATE 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

This proposal would:

Allow in-home care workers to bargain collectively with the Michigan Quality Home Care Council (MQHCC). Continue the current exclusive representative of in-home care workers until modified in accordance with labor laws.

Require MQHCC to provide training for in-home 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.

Authorize the MQHCC to set minimum compensation standards and terms and conditions of employment.

Should this proposal be approved?

STATE PROPOSAL 12-5

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO LIMIT THE ENACTMENT OF NEW TAXES BY STATE GOVERNMENT

This 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.

This sectionShall in no way be construed to limit or modify tax limitations otherwise created in this Constitution.

Should this proposal be approved?

Answer: While as attorneys we are inherently allegic to taxes, we believe that our constitution is document capturing the enduring ideals that guide our State and not for issues such as taxation which is the rightful prerogative of our elected representatives.

STATE PROPOSAL 12-6

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION REGARDING CONSTRUCTION OF INTERNATIONAL

BRIDGES AND TUNNELS

This proposal would:

Require the approval of a majority of voters at a statewide election and in each municipality where new international bridges or 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.

Should this proposal be approved?

Answer: NO. Absolutely not. The answers for this and other ballot propsals have been graciously articulated by NPR journalist Jack Lessenberry and we highly recommend that you follow the link below.

http://www.michiganradio.org/post/commentary-staggering-sums-ballot-proposals

RECALL

RECALL Statement of Reason: (1) for referring to the Troy City Charter as a whimsical document in a November 21, 2011 interview with the Detroit Free Press; (2) for declaring, during an office hours forum on January 9, 2012, that the homosexual lifestyle is dangerous ; (3) for publicly attacking city employees during the January 9, 2012 City Council meeting while reading a 20 minute position paper into the record; and (4) for failing to support a Federal investment in the City of Troy of over $8.4 million, by voting against the Troy Transit Center project on three occasions (December 19, 2011, January 17, 2012, and February 20, 2012). Justification of Conduct in Office: The language of this recall contains untrue statements. Stand together with me for smaller government, lowered taxes and less regulation so that our families and future generations will prosper. I voiced dismay that the prior council at times ignored our city charter and that they treated it as whimsical . I will never treat it as whimsical. I hold to our city charter and I make no exceptions. There was no attack on city employees. I voiced concerns on behalf of Troy residents about the city manager” s information presentation. Troy City Charter Section 4.8 states: CouncilShall have the power to inquire into the conduct of any officer into matters in which the municipality has an interest. I have a Charter-mandated obligation to question management when residents have concerns. The transit center will burden the City with many thousands of dollars in costs. I campaigned that I would vote no on the transit center and I did exactly as I promised. I worked successfully to help bring about the reopening of the library on Saturdays and on-line disclosure of every check and contract the city has. Reward these good accomplishments. Allow me to continue to serve you faithfully as your Mayor. Shall Janice Daniels be recalled from the office of Mayor?

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