The result could not be even remotely legal, so how can the proposal go forward?
The name “Puppets not People.” Would be more apt.
Proposal 2 of 2018 is one of the most bizarre creations to be tested before the voting public. Several pages of changes to our state constitution without the benefit of a convention, and a significant change to state government through a vote where maybe TWO or THREE percent of voters will have a full understanding of the changes being made.
The Michigan Supreme Court failed miserably in stopping what amounts to a coup of Michigan’s constitution.It should immediately review and recall its decision, or face future docket challenges it cannot meet.
The mess this proposal will create is undeniable. Literally prepared for court battles, the proposal inserts language into our constitution that authorizes the commission to ‘prosecute’ the legislature for financial ability to defend itself against expected redistricting challenges. What this means is that unlimited taxpayer dollars will be used to fend off any taxpayer disagreements with whatever crazy apportionment happens.
This ‘clever’ bit of political takeover quite frankly takes the power AWAY from the people of Michigan. The Orwellian name ‘voters not politicians’ gives certain political influences (through social media and misinformation) more of a permanent grasp on the political mechanics, with little or no chance for timely corrections.
This deal was constructed as a lease to evade the 1963 Michigan Constitution‘s requirement, under Article VII, Section 25, for a vote of Detroit’s electors to approve the sale of any public utility. However, by constructing the deal as a lease, the City of Detroit is essentially granting a lease franchise covering the DW&SD’s water and sewerage operations to GLWA. The 40 year term of this lease franchise clearly exceeds the 30 year maximum permitted by Article VII, Section 30 of our 1963 Constitution: Merriam-Webster defines a ‘franchise’ as “ the right to sell a company’s goods or services in a particular area; also, a business that is given such a right”. Exactly the nature of the GLWA lease agreement with the City of Detroit. Should you doubt that the City of Detroit constitutes a ‘company’, Merriam-Webster defines a ‘company’ as “ an association of persons for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise”. Exactly what DW&SD has been doing for over 100 years.
State Representative Kurt Heise (R-20th) from Plymouth has challenged the establishment of GLWA under the 1963 Michigan Constitution’s Article VII, Section 28:
Taken together with the 1963 Michigan Constitution’s Article III, Section 5:
it establishes our Legislature’s authority over intergovernmental units. But these two sections do not unambiguously grant the Michigan legislature exclusive authority over intergovernmental units, so there is probably legal wiggle room here. Contrary to Representative Heise’s contention, a good lawyer could make a case that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court could establish the GLWA under Article VII, Section 28 and Article III, Section 5.
Conveniently, the bigger power concerns in the state capitulated to ridiculous 10% energy mandates during the Granholm administration.
In 2012, an even MORE ridiculous 25×25 requirement was promoted (and failed) as a constitutional amendment, in a state which has a monstrous electricity appetite as a leader in manufacturing. Now as the legislature approaches the crossroads of [Oh gosh we can’t meet the 10%!] and [What the hell happened to electricity prices?] in Michigan, another 35% ‘mandate’ pusher shows up with a ‘conservative’ emphasis and the useful idiots who have already signed on.