The Truth About Proposal 2

"The 2012 election will feature a total of six ballot proposals.  Proposal 1 is a referendum on the Emergency Manager Law.  Proposals 2 thru 6 would result in amendments to our Michigan Constitution if passed.  Before you vote on any of these proposals, I encourage you to understand exactly what you are voting for or against.  You may be surprised to know that the proposal language that appears on your ballot is NOT the language that will be enacted into law.  The language on the ballot is simply a collection of marketing talking points.  You need to view the ACTUAL petition language to see exactly what law would be enacted.  The easiest way to see the actual language as well as get a TRULY non-partisan perspective on the impacts of the proposal is to go to the Ballot Issues page at the Citizens Research Council of Michigan website ( 
One of the most concerning ballot proposals is Proposal 2.  Per the ACTUAL petition language, the passage of Proposal 2 would nullify all "existing or future law" enacted by state legislators or local municipalities dealing with the subject of collective bargaining.  In court proceedings, the proponents of the proposal refused to list the impacts of its passage.  "Attorney Andrew Nickelhoff, representing the Protect Our Jobs Coalition, said he did not know how many laws would be changed, and argued that it's not the coalition's responsibility to spell out all of the details on the petition or in the ballot language" (Source:  M-Live, August 22, 2012).  I would contend that the so-called "Protect Our Jobs" Coalition does have a very good understanding of which laws would be changed.  They just don't want the voters to know, especially since the passage of the proposal would adversely impact many of the workers whom they advertise are being protected by this proposal. 
Active members of police and firefighting unions would likely not be supportive of the nullification of PA 312 of 1969 which guarantees binding arbitration for public safety officers.  Retirees would likely not be very thrilled by the nullification of PA 12 of 2012 which ensures that retired Detroit Police and Firefighters would have representation on the board responsible for the management of their pension.  They would also likely have heartache with pending legislation like SB 1189 which would require equal treatment of retiree board members and active workforce board members.  Please note that many of these reforms are bi-partisan public acts.  For example, PA 12 of 2012 was sponsored by Representative Durhal (D) and SB 1189 was sponsored by Senator Mark Jansen (R). 
You should also know that taxpayers would likely see a minimum $1.6 Billion tax increase to pay for collect bargaining agreements devoid of requirements for public employees to contribute up to 20% towards their healthcare premiums and receive fair retirement benefits on par with private sector employees.  Numerous other legislative reforms that many rank and file members as well as citizens-at-large appreciate such as prioritizing teacher performance over longevity, criminal background checks for school employees and school bus safety rules would be subject to nullification with the passage of Proposal 2.    
Clearly, not all of your interests are protected by collective bargaining representatives alone.  If that were the case, the aforementioned bills would not have been necessary.  Now the responsibility to protect your rights as public safety professionals, retirees, and taxpayers passes from your elected state representatives to you.  I strongly urge that you review the ACTUAL wording of proposals such as Proposal 2 before casting your vote.  If you don't like a statute passed by the legislature, you can always vote in representatives that will pass a better law.  Once you vote to change our constitution, however, your changes will be there for a very long time.for good or for bad."
Posted in Editorials, Uncategorized.