Southwest Michigan lawmakers discuss statewide proposals to be on ballot

Come November Michigan voters will have the chance to possibly change the state's constitution.

There are five proposals on the ballot that would amend the Wolverine state's constitution, a tough process to reverse.

Monday night some local state lawmakers from Southwest Michigan held a forum to talk about six statewide proposals that will be on the ballot.

One of them, a referendum, will determine if the emergency manager law is reinstated or repealed.

The other five statewide proposals would change the constitution.

“I am asking them to take a look at the other five,” says State Representative Al Pscholka. “Do they rise to the level where we should change our constitution? Which is very difficult to change back, do those five proposals rise to that level? And in my opinion they don’t.”

For example proposal 3 requires 25 % of electric utilities come from renewable energy sources by 2025. The state already mandated 10 percent of electricity come from renewable energy by 2015.

With proposal 5 a supermajority, instead of a majority, would be required to raise taxes in the Michigan House and Senate. It’s a move that would make higher taxes harder to enact but could also limit job growth without future tax reform.

Also in proposal two all bargaining rights would be given to unions, overriding current state laws.

“I'm not opposed to having collective bargaining” says State Senator John Proos. “We have to be careful to what that cost will be to the taxpayers and unrolling back what the legislature has put in place, which is 170 different laws that govern these sorts of issues. That's a legislature issue we can continue, as representatives and senators, to handle.”

Also Berrien County has a road millage increase up for a vote and about a dozen cities and townships have their own millages too.

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