Sen. Wayne Kuipers introduced legislation Wednesday that would develop necessary regulations for medical marijuana use in Michigan, to protect the public and ensure the drug is not abused. Use of medical marijuana was approved by Michigan voters in November 2008 through a statewide ballot initiative.

Read the story from the Holland Sentinel

A bill sponsored by Sen. Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit, would put a proposed workplace smoking ban on the November 2010 statewide ballot.

Read the story from Forbes

With the economy in a downward spiral, it may seem like poor timing to ask taxpayers for money to repair aging school buildings, expand suburban libraries and build parks.

But more than a dozen communities in Metro Detroit are doing just that Tuesday when they hold elections asking voters to approve millions in school bonds and higher municipal tax rates for projects.

Read more at Detroit News

Enforcing marijuana laws would take police officer’s lowest priority under a proposed Kalamazoo initiative. Supporters must collect nearly 3,000 signatures of city voters to make the November ballot.

Read the story at Mlive.com

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.

Read the story from the Detroit Free Press

Activists in Ann Arbor, MI have began collecting the 5,250 signatures needed to qualify a city charter amendment that would require the city to put borrowing decisions to the voters. The initiative stems from a funding battle over a $47 million police-court complex currently under construction. Proponents say that the measure would only apply to borrowing that is to be paid back by city taxes.

Read the story from the Ann Arbor News on MLive

The Unites States Supreme Court denied Arizona’s request for an appeal in the case Nader v. Brewer. Last year the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Arizona’s law requiring petition circulators to be state residents. Thirteen other states had asked the high court to overturn the decistion. Similar laws in Ohio and Oklahoma were invalidated last year in the 6th and 10th Circuit Courts of Appeal.

State Balloting Process

Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous

The Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections
offers its staff for consultations on the designing the petition format of an
initiative measure. Upon determining through the consultation process
that an initiative of referendum petition is properly formatted, it is
submitted to the Board of State Canvassers for approval as to form. While
Michigan election law does not require Board approval of an initiative or
referendum petition form, such approval greatly reduces the risk that

Ballot Qualifications & Schedule

Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous

Date Initiative language can be submitted: Any time

Signatures are tied to vote of which office: Governor

Next gubernatorial election: 2010

Votes cast for Governor in Gubernatorial election: 3,821,290

You have full Initiative & Referendum rights. Citizens can pass laws they write or suspend a statute passed by the Legislature by collecting enough petition signatures to place the statute on the statewide ballot for a decision by the voters. Voters can also initiate constitutional amendments by Initiative.


See the results of a poll on support for statewide initiative & referendum here.


Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous

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


Mon, Feb 16 by Anonymous

After the most expensive campaign on a social issue in history, the state Supreme Court in San Francisco will hold a hearing on the strength of the same-sex marriage ban, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Important Court Cases

Wed, Jan 28 by Anonymous
Yes on Term Limits v. Savage (2008)


The Michigan Supreme Court ruling that keeps the Reform Michigan Government Now proposal off the ballot has focused attention on the ballot measure process itself. RMGN — rejected by the court for technical reasons — was extraordinarily bad public policy, but that doesn’t mean citizen-led initiatives are bad.

The right ballot measures would let voters bypass legislators who are unwilling or unable to fix Michigan’s urgent problems.