Voters have amended Michigan’s constitution 31 times since it took effect 47 years ago. We have a chance of adding five more amendments this fall.
We have chosen to saturate the document with state-sanctioned gambling, monopolistic protection of certain casinos, collective bargaining for state troopers and sergeants, changing “handicapped” to “disabled”, bans on gay marriage and affirmative action, and sanctioning stem cell research.
Do any of these belong in the master plan for state government? No.
Fat cats with vested interests figure that what they may not get through the normal legislative process they might just as well lock into the constitution. The old-fashioned way of getting volunteers to gather signatures has given way to contracting with firms to do the heavy lifting.
In November’s general election, voters get to decide whether or not
- All public and private sector workers have the opportunity to collectively bargain
- Home help workers will have a collective bargaining niche
- A statewide vote is required before a bridge is built between Detroit and Windsor
- The legislature must summon a two-thirds majority before passing a state tax increase or a majority of voters must do so
- 25% of the state’s energy production must come from renewable sources.
I ask a simple question. Would you put any of these in the U.S. Constitution?
There are two means of protecting the state constitution. First, reject all five. Then, so far as courts allow, prohibit buying signatures.
By Craig Ruff, Senior Policy Fellow