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The Metro Detroit Green Party will be discussing what position to take on these ballot proposals. MDG members can have their comments on these issues (or any other issues, for that matter) published on this web site just by writing them and sending an e-mail. Comments on these ballot proposals will be posted on the Ballot Proposals Comments Page.

Primer on the 2000 Election State Proposals 1 and 2

By Mike Madias for the Metro Detroit Greens

On the ballot this November will be two proposals presented by the State of Michigan to the voters. The results of the vote may have significant effects on the people of Metro Detroit.

Proposal 00-1

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO PERMIT STATE TO PROVIDE INDIRECT SUPPORT TO STUDENTS ATTENDING NONPUBLIC PRE-ELEMENTARY, ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS; ALLOW THE USE OF TUITION VOUCHERS IN CERTAIN SCHOOL DISTRICTS; AND REQUIRE ENACTMENT OF TEACHER TESTING LAWS.

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

(1) Eliminate ban on indirect support of students attending nonpublic schools through tuition vouchers, credits, tax benefits, exemptions or deductions, subsidies, grants or loans of public monies or property.

(2) Allow students to use tuition vouchers to attend nonpublic schools in districts with a graduation rate under 2/3 in 1998-1999 and districts approving tuition vouchers through school board action or a public vote. Each voucher would be limited to 1/2 of state average per-pupil public school revenue.

(3) Require teacher testing on academic subjects in public schools and in nonpublic schools redeeming tuition vouchers.

(4) Adjust minimum per-pupil funding from 1994-1995 to 2000-2001 level.

Should this proposal be adopted?


From Supporters and Opponents of Proposal 1

Comment from supporters: "Kids First! Yes!:"

Vote YES on Proposal 1

Voting YES on Michigan's Proposal 1 on the November general election ballot will reform education and improve our children's education by:

  1. Testing every teacher to guarantee excellence.
  2. Protecting school funding for years to come.
  3. Giving every child a chance to succeed through opportunity scholarships.

Give parents a choice. Give kids a chance. "

Comment from opponents, "All Kids First!:"

"At its core, Proposal 1 is deceptively designed to remove Michigan's constitutional ban on using public tax dollars to pay for private schools.

"Proposal 1 will divert your neighborhood school funds to a handful of private schools. It takes millions of tax dollars out of all our neighborhood public schools and sends it to a handful of private schools in only 7 of Michigan's 557 school districts.

"Parent groups like the Michigan PTA oppose Prop. 1 --

"Proposal 1 will give your tax money to a handful of private schools who are still allowed to pick and choose the students they take, and deny admission based on grades, race, religion or special needs. And they don't have to tell anyone how they spend our tax money!

"Under Proposal 1, none of the private schools will have to tell anyone where your tax dollars went. A Citizens Research Council analysis puts the first year price tag at over $50 million. If passed, Proposal 1's private school voucher plan could eventually cost up to $800 million dollars every year, and certainly raise our taxes to pay for it. "


Proposal 00-2

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION TO REQUIRE A SUPER MAJORITY VOTE (2/3 VOTE) OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE TO ENACT CERTAIN LAWS AFFECTING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

1. Require a super majority vote (2/3 vote) of the State Legislature to enact any law which addresses a matter which a county, city, township, village or municipal authority could otherwise address under its governing powers or which places a condition on unrestricted aid extended to local governments by the State. (Currently, a simple majority vote of the legislature is required to enact such laws.)

2. Retroactively apply the super majority vote requirement to any such law enacted on or after March 1, 2000.

3. Exempt from the super majority vote requirement any such law which can be applied at the option of local governments.

Should this proposal be adopted?


Commentary of supporters and opponents of Proposal 2

Supporting organization: "Let Local Votes Count," part of an article from this group:

"What does this ballot proposal do? The state legislature can and has passed legislation that overrides local ordinances, charter provisions and contracts with a 50% plus 1 vote. The Let Local Votes Count ballot proposal would amend the constitution to require the state legislature to have a 66% or 2/3 vote to override existing local laws.

"Just as the Legislature must have a 2/3 vote to override the governor's veto or remove a judge from office, this proposal would require the Legislature to have a 66% or 2/3 vote to override a local government's laws that reflect the views and desires of local citizens and taxpayers.

"Vote Yes on November 7 to prevent further erosion of local control. This ballot proposal helps protect current local authority (no new taxes and no new authority) and makes it more difficult for special interest groups and the state to ignore your voice."

Opposing organization: "Citizens for Common Sense Government," part of an article from this group:

"Broad-Based Coalition Announces Opposition To Municipal League's Ballot Proposal

"Lansing, MI - On November 7, 2000 Michigan voters will cast ballots on a Proposal 00-2, a proposal to introduce minority-rule to the Michigan Constitution.

"Prop. 2" will allow one-third of the legislature to reject any legislation that affects local governments, meaning just 13 senators or 37 representatives could block a piece of legislation that could affect your job, business or taxes. This radical proposal to drastically alter the State Constitution would also result in legal chaos, unfair policy making and could cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

"Prop. 2" is backed by big city mayors who want to change our state legislative structure to give them an unfair advantage in the legislative process. They are using taxpayer's dollars to fund this selfish attempt to undermine the will of the majority of Michigan residents. Say "No" to years of costly litigation at taxpayer expense. Say "No" to abandoning majority rule. Vote "No" on "Prop. 2" on November 7th.


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