McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

Updates About Ballot Proposals

Court of Claims Ruling Restores Original 2018 Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Time Laws

Update: Jul 11-22, 2022

On July 19, Court of Claims Judge Douglas Shapiro ruled in Mothering Justice vs. Dana Nessel that the Legislature violated the Michigan Constitution when, in 2018, it amended two citizen initiatives. One initiative would raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour over a period of years with an inflation adjustment in place once the maximum was reached. It would also eliminate the lower tipped minimum wage. A separate initiative would allow employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked up to a maximum of 72 hours per year.

Prior to the 2018 election, the Republican-led legislature took up and passed the two ballot proposals, thus preventing them from going before voters. After the election, the Legislature then voted to amend the ballot proposals, effectively limiting the pool of employers subject to the law to those with 50 or more employees and reducing the sick time hours that could be earned.

The judge ruled that nothing in the Michigan Constitution empowers the Legislature to adopt and amend an initiative petition in the same legislative session, and that doing so effectively undermines the ability of voters to decide.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and other groups like the AFL-CIO praised the order. While several groups from the business community, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, warned the ruling could have a crippling effect on employers and employees.

A stay is expected to be filed. Business groups may also choose to appeal.

'Promote the Vote’ and ‘Reproductive Freedom For All’ Submit Signatures for November Ballot

Update: Jul 11-22, 2022

On July 11, two ballot campaigns submitted signature counts far exceeding the 425,059 valid signature threshold necessary to be considered for the November ballot.

Officials with the Promote the Vote ballot initiative announced on July 11 they had submitted over 650,000 signatures to secure a spot on the November ballot. The initiative would enshrine in the Michigan Constitution a “fundamental right to vote”, streamlining access to absentee voting, among other things.

The effort contrasts with a Republican-led effort – Secure MI Vote – which has yet to submit the requisite number of signatures to be added to the ballot.

On the same day, officials with the Reproductive Freedom for All initiative submitted over 750,000 signatures – the most of any ballot proposal in the state’s history – for a proposal that would enshrine abortion rights in the Michigan Constitution.

The Bureau of Elections is currently reviewing the validity of the signatures.

Update on Ballot Initiative Signature Collection Efforts

Update: May 23-Jun 10, 2022

June 1 was the deadline for several groups to submit signatures for their respective petitions in order to appear on the November 2022 ballot.

Supporters of Let MI Kids Learn, a proposal that would allow taxpayers to claim credits for K-12 private school, did not turn in their signatures by the 5 p.m. deadline, stating they hope to see the GOP-led legislature pass the proposal to be considered for the 2024 ballot.

Unlock Michigan, an initiative to limit public health orders to 28 days unless the legislature votes to extend the order, is taking a similar approach by not turning in signatures. The group also hopes the legislature will enact the proposal, avoiding a veto by Governor Whitmer to secure a spot on the 2024 ballot.

In other related news, Secure MI, the initiative to require photo ID to vote, will continue to collect signatures for their petition. The group had to submit signatures by June 1 but is delaying submission in order to collect 500,000 signatures, although only 340,000 valid signatures are needed. Signature collections can occur for 180 days, but every day past this threshold, the group loses signatures it collected at the beginning of the 180 days.

This June 1 deadline does not apply to constitutional amendments, such as Reproductive Freedom for All, Promote the Vote, nor to two other proposals aiming to change election laws. Each would require 400,000 signatures be submitted by July 11.