DETROIT (WWJ) First there were six, then there were none, with all of the proposed state constitutional amendments going down in defeat Tuesday.
Proposal 1, a repeal of the controversial emergency manager law, was too close to call into the wee hours, but in the end it also failed to garner enough support. That means the state’s previous — and less aggressive — emergency manager law goes into effect. State Republicans have a proposal for a new law, but it’s currently under legal review.
The vote was 52 percent to 48 percent on the emergency manager measure that allows the governor to appoint leaders in financially distressed communities empowered to hire and fire, consolidate departments and modify union contracts. Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed managers in five cities and three school districts.
“There was a lot of confusion out there and when people don’t know what they’re voting on, they usually either don’t vote on it or they vote no,” WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick said.
He added that voters seemed disinclined to do anything that would involve changing the constitution.
“Obviously the most effective commercial out of the $150 million that was spent on commercials, was the one with the husband and the wife and he said ‘Honey, I don’t want to put this junk on the constitution.’ The husband says ‘You’re right, sweetheart,’ and everybody else apparently listened to that because all of the proposals went down,” Skubick said.
Proposal 1 came down to the Detroit vote, Skubick said.
“The Senate Republican leader has already said if the voters turned this down, we, the Republican Legislature, will come back and will rewrite the emergency manager law, trying to improve on some of the criticism that was bringing this to the ballot in the first place,” Skubick said. “Now, the governor has not signed off on that yet, however I think at the end of the day, he’ll be there. So, even though the voters said no on 1, they may get it back anyway.”
Here’s a round-up of the rest of the proposals:
Proposal 2, which failed 58 percent to 42 percent, would have amended the state constitution and give workers the right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions. Supporters pushed the proposal fearing the governor and state Legislature will make Michigan a Right to Work state. Opponents say the proposal would eliminate hundreds of existing labor laws in the process.
Proposal 3, which failed 63 percent to 47 percent, would have forced Michigan to have 25 percent of its electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2025.
Proposal 4, failing 57 percent to 43 percent, would undo a law signed by Snyder and force Michigan’s 60-thousand home health care workers to join a labor union.
Proposal 5, which failed 69 percent to 31 percent, would have required that any future increases of the tax rate or tax base be approved by either a two-thirds majority of the legislature or a statewide vote.
Proposal 6, which garnered a 60 percent unfavorable vote vs. 40 percent support, would have forced a statewide vote for any bridge or tunnel project.