Detroit Free Press

By a 3-1 vote, the state Board of Canvassers failed to certify a petition that would put the issue of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour on the November ballot.

Three members — Chairwoman Colleen Pero and Norm Shinkle, both Republican appointees, and Jeannette Bradshaw, a Democratic appointee — voted against certification because they said it fell about 3,900 signatures short of the required number to qualify for the ballot.

That determination came after a challenge to the petition, which was turned in Wednesday — the deadline for challenges was July 11 — found enough duplicate signatures in the petition to knock it off the ballot.

After an angry and contentious Detroit City Council meeting Tuesday, an advocacy group will make one more attempt next week to convince council members to put a question on the Nov. 3 ballot about whether the mayor should oversee Detroit Public Schools.

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A group of activists, legislators and community leaders is launching a petition drive to put a measure on the ballot asking voters whether they want to exempt the state from the federal health care overhaul. State Rep. Tom McMillin was to be joined by Tea Party groups and others this afternoon at a kick-off in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak. Organizers have modeled a proposed amendment to the Michigan constitution on one that will be on Arizona’s ballot later this year.

The head of a group pushing for school funding reforms says if the Legislature doesn’t take action, his group will push for a ballot initiative. “I am offended at the notion that we have to go to the ballot,” said Tom White, chairman of Save Our Students, Schools and State (SOS) and former head of the Michigan School Business Officials organization. “But if we have to go, we will.”

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House Speaker Andy Dillon indicated that he would like to see any constitutional amendments to change the state’s tax system to go on this November’s ballot. Proposals include moving from a flat to a graduated income tax and changing the state’s 22% business tax structure. A graduated income tax is supported by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

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