Michigan voters could decide whether to reduce automobile, home and business insurance premiums by 20 percent if a proposal qualifies for the 2010 statewide ballot. The form of a legislative initiative submitted by a group called Fair Affordable Insurance Rates was approved Monday by the Board of State Canvassers. Supporters still must collect more than 304,000 valid voter signatures and clear other procedural hurdles to put the measure on next November’s ballot.

On Tuesday, voters in this village will decide if the pursuit to incorporate the village into a home rule city should continue. If voters approve it, the village’s City Committee will continue the process of incorporating the village into a city. Voters will later have an opportunity to elect a city charter commission and to vote on a city charter.

Read the story from the Huron Daily Tribune

Mining petition form approved

Thu, Oct 15 2009 — Source: Chicago Tribune

A proposed Michigan ballot measure that would prohibit some types of mining and restrict others took a small step forward Wednesday. The petition form submitted by a group called the Michigan Save Our Water Committee was approved by a state election board. The group would have to collect more than 300,000 valid signatures of Michigan voters to get its proposal on the statewide November 2010 ballot.

Read the story from the Chicago Tribune

A judge ruled against a ballot initiative to have city council members elected by districts instead of at-large on Friday, calling the language of the proposal “insufficient” according to the Detroit Free Press. The community coalition Detroiters for Council by Districts filed the lawsuit with City Clerk Janice Winfrey for holding the proposal from the Nov. 3 ballot after questions arose regarding the language of the proposal and its legality.

Detroit Public Schools is expected to ask city voters to OK a $500.5 million bond initiative for building upgrades and other needs in the struggling district. The Michigan Department of Treasury last week approved the district’s request to place the initiative on the Nov. 3 ballot. The district has until today to submit language to the city Election Commission to meet the deadline for the ballot, said Daniel Baxter, Detroit’s director of elections. The commission could certify placement as early as today.

Common Sense: Rising Recalls

Thu, Aug 13 2009 by Staff

Nearly twice as many efforts to recall public officials are underway this year than last, according to Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob. In his daily Common Sense commentary, Paul points out several of the recall efforts from around the country, many of which have been mentioned on this site.

A coalition of Detroit voters, community organizers and business leaders have collected enough signatures for an initiative to have city council members elected by district instead of the current at-large system to be placed on the Nov. 3 ballot. The group, Detroiters for Council by District, needed 29,000 signatures to get their proposal on the ballot. On Wednesday the group submitted 37,000 signatures to the City Clerk’s office according to a press release.

In a battle forming over proposed state standards for farm animal treatment, farmers and agribusiness leaders are supporting the proposals — and squaring off against animal activists who oppose them. A bruising 2010 ballot initiative campaign could be on the horizon, led by the Humane Society of the United States. Representatives of that group say the proposed bills, which could be voted on in the House Agricultural Committee this week, don’t address their concerns about tight confinement methods, such as battery cages for poultry.

The Michigan Democratic Party is considering asking voters to raise the state’s minimum wage from the current $7.40 an hour to a national high of $10 an hour, increase unemployment benefits and require all employers to provide health coverage. Other proposals floated Wednesday would cut utility rates by 20 percent and impose a one-year moratorium on home foreclosures. Democrats will research the five proposals and survey party members before deciding which ones to attempt placing on the November 2010 ballot, state party chairman Mark Brewer said.

The Michigan Democrat Party is exploring a series of initiatives that party officials claim will help the average citizen. Proposed initiatives include hiking the minimum wage to $10, forcing employers to offer health benefits to their workers, and placing a one-year moratorium on home foreclosures. Critics of the plan say the initiatives are “anti-jobs” and “anti-growth” and that they would put the state at a disadvantage when competing with nearby states for business.


Agitation for initiative and referendum in Michigan started with the formation of the state’s Direct Legislation Club in 1895 by George F. Sherman and David Inglis, both Detroit physicians. Inglis was 45 years old, a distinguished professor at the Detroit Medical College. Sherman and Inglis led I&R efforts in Michigan for over a decade without success,
despite support from the noted reformer, Detroit mayor, and later Michigan governor Hazen S. Pingree. In 1900 S. D. Williams of Battle Creek cited the legislature’s Republican majority as the major obstacle.

A group of citizens vowed to start a petition against an ordinance prohibiting discrimination against gay, lesbian, or transgender people in matters of housing or employment. The group seeks to bring the matter to a referendum vote after the Kalamazoo city council passed the ordinance.

Read the story from WWMT-TV

The first test of how much control state lawmakers might try to exert over embryonic stem cell research in Michigan is surfacing at the Capitol. Sen. Tom George, a Republican from Kalamazoo County’s Texas Township, said Thursday he and other lawmakers will introduce bills that would establish reporting requirements and penalties for violations related to Proposal 2, which Michigan voters approved in 2008. The measure loosened the state’s restrictions on the research by allowing people to donate embryos left over from fertility treatments.

A tea party convention Saturday at Holt’s Capitol City Baptist Ministries will open the floor for discussion on possible future ballot initiatives in Michigan to address taxing and other issues.

Read the story from the Lansing State Journal

Plans for a petition initiative to lessen marijuana-possession enforcement in the city of Kalamazoo have been delayed. The Kalamazoo Coalition for Pragmatic Cannabis Laws has sent an e-mail to its Web-site subscribers, saying it will seek to place the ballot initiative before voters in November 2010.

Read the story from Michigan Live