State, local proposals on the ballot

November 2, 2018

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

Voters at the polls November 6th will decide on three State proposals and three millage renewals for Clare County Schools.

According to an internet article, here’s what the proposals will look like when voters head to the polls November 6th.

Proposal 1: Legalize recreational marijuana
A proposed law which would authorize and legalize the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by individuals who are at least 21 years or older and authorized commercial sales of marijuana by state-licensed retailers.

This proposal would:
•Allow individuals over 21 years to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles, and allow them to grow up to 12 plants for personal use.•
•Impose a ten-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require that amounts over 2.5 ounces be kept secured in locked containers.
•Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses and allow municipalities to ban or restrict them.
•Permit retail sales of marijuana and marijuana edibles with a ten percent excise tax that would be dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located
•Change several current violations from crimes to civil infractions.

Proposal 1, if approved by voters, would make Michigan the tenth state to legalize recreational marijuana. The proposal is led by the group ‘Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol,’ and it is opposed by the group ‘Healthy and Productive Michigan,’ which is backed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
The proposal is supported by two of the three candidates for Michigan’s governor, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer and Libertarian Bill Gelineau. Republican candidate Bill Schuette disapproves of leagalizing recreational marijuana, but said that if the proposal passes, he will “respect the will of the voters.”

Proposal 2: Establish an independent citizens redistricting commission
If approved by voters the proposal would amend the Michigan Constitution to create an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. The amendment would transfer the authority to draw Congressional and State Legislative district lines from the Legislature and Governor to the Commission.

The selection of the new Commission will be administered by the Secretary of State. Thirteen commissioners will be randomly selected from a pool of registered voters and will consist of four members who identify with each of the two major political parties; and by five non-affiliated, independent members. Current and former partisan elected officials, lobbyists, part officers and their employees are not eligible to serve.

The lead-up to the proposal’s inclusion on the ballot was not without controversy. A group funded by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce called Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution filed a lawsuit claiming the proposal was unconstitutional. That legal challenge was rejected by the State Court of Appeals and later by the state Supreme Court.

Proposal 3: Voting Rights Policies Initiative
Proposal 3 would amend the Michigan Constitution to provide citizens qualified to vote in Michigan with the following rights: to vote a secret ballot; for military and overseas voters to be sent a ballot 45 days before an election; to vote straight party on all partisan general election ballots; to be automatically registered to vote when obtaining a driver’s license or personal identification or personal identification card from the Secretary of State, unless the person declines; to register to vote by mail on or before the 15th day before an election; to register to vote in person at any time with proof of residency; to vote an absentee ballot, by mail or in person, without giving a reason; and to have election results audited to ensure the accuracy of elections.

The Voting Rights Policies Initiative is led by the group ‘Promote the Vote,’ and backed by the ACLU and the League of Women Voters of Michigan.
Some opposing the proposal say it would make voter fraud easier because votes could supposedly be cast in more than one area during the same election.

School Millage Renewals
Locally, all three Clare County Schools in Clare, Farwell and Harrison, are asking voters to approve their Public Schools Operating Millage Renewal proposals.
The non-homestead millage is a primary source of funding for the three schools.

The proposal allow the school districts to continue to levy the statutory rate of up to 18 mills ($18.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) on all property except for principal residences and other property exempted by law. The millage is for four years, and is used to provide funds for operating purposes in each district. The current millage expires with the 2018 tax levy.

Arthur Township Fire Protection
Voters will say yes or no November 6th to a fire protection special assessment district.

Franklin Township Road Millage Renewal
The proposal is a renewal for two mills ($2.00 per $1,000 of taxable value) for 2019 through 2028 for road improvements and maintenance. It will raise an estimated $53,570 the first year.

Franklin Township General Operating Renewal
The two mill renewal for ten years is for general operating purposes and will raise an estimated $60,398.00 the first year.

Winterfield Township Road Millage Renewal
The two mill renewal is for road improvements from 2019 through 2022 and will raise approximately $85,032.57

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