2006 Michigan Ballot Issue Info

http://publius.org is a handy resource for seeing what the Michigan ballot will look like, whether you’re registered to vote, where you vote, etc.

Skipping the political positions section at the top (my decisions are made already anyway), here’s the proposal section at the bottom – haven’t heard much about some of these.

State Of Michigan
PROPOSAL 06-1

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION Z

A PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO REQUIRE THAT MONEY HELD IN CONSERVATION AND RECREATION FUNDS CAN ONLY BE USED FOR THEIR INTENDED PURPOSES

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Create a Conservation and Recreation Legacy Fund within the Constitution and establish existing conservation and recreation accounts as components of the fund.
  • Use current funding sources such as state park entrance and camping fees; snowmobile, ORV and boating registration fees; hunting and fishing license fees; taxes and other revenues to fund accounts.
  • Establish the current Game and Fish Protection Fund and the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund within the Constitution.
  • Provide that money held in Funds can only be used for specific purposes related to conservation and recreation and cannot be used for any purpose other than those indended.

Should this proposal be adopted?

_____Yes _____No

I couldn’t find any organized opposition to this one. Seems straightforward enough: Money you pay for parks and recreation in Michigan, should actually be used for parks and recreation in Michigan.

State Of Michigan
PROPOSAL 06-2

MICHIGAN CIVIL RIGHTS INITIATIVE PETITION

A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO BAN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAMS THAT GIVE PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT TO GROUPS OR INDIVIDUALS BASED ON THEIR RACE, GENDER, COLOR, ETHNICITY OR NATIONAL ORIGIN FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION OR CONTRACTING PURPOSES

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Ban public institutions from using affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes. Public institutions affected by the proposal include state government, local governments, public colleges and universities, community colleges and school districts.
  • Prohibit public institutions from discriminating against groups or individuals due to their gender, ethnicity, race, color or national origin. (A separate provision of the state constitution already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.)

Should this proposal be adopted?

_____Yes _____No

White, Anglo-Saxon Protestant that I am, this one’s obvious. Why should I consider any factor other than someone’s own character, achievement or potential when choosing a candidate for a job, a contract or an opportunity? Nobody does that for me.

State Of Michigan
PROPOSAL 06-3

DOVE HUNTING REFERENDUM

A REFERENDUM ON PUBLIC ACT 160 OF 2004 – AN ACT TO ALLOW THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A HUNTING SEASON FOR MOURNING DOVES

Public Act 160 of 2004 would:

  • Authorize the Natural Resources Commission to establish a hunting season for mourning doves.
  • Require a mourning dove hunter to have a small game license and a $2.00 mourning dove stamp.
  • Stipulate that revenue from the stamp must be split evenly between the Game and Fish Protection Fund and the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund.
  • Require the Department of Natural Resources to address responsible mourning dove hunting; management practices for the propagation of mourning doves; and participation in mourning dove hunting by youth, the elderly and the disabled in the Department’s annual hunting guide.

Should this law be approved?

_____Yes _____No

I hunt, but I’ve never hunted in my own state. I’m wary of any measure that would limit hunters’ rights- but I don’t see much point in mourning dove hunting. Here are the arguments for and against it, that I’ve found:
Pro

  • Our neighbor states do it, we don’t. So we’re losing hunters’ dollars to our neighbor states. This sport is inexpensive, so it’s easier for more people to get involved.
  • Most other states allow it. (Help! Help! We’re being repressed!)
  • They have a stable/growing population. Anything that plentiful is just begging to die.
  • Hunting doves does not significantly affect their population numbers – they only live for a year on average, anyway.
  • They’re so tasty!
  • MD hunting is a different challenge than existing hunted birds, so it’s not redundant. They’re fast and small, and did we mention, delicious?
  • You know what they are, right? They’re pigeons. The winged cousin of rats. Not songbirds. Poop machines.
  • One pooped on my windshield once. That bastard needs to die.
  • Shooting animals is fun! Ever try it? Want to?

Con

  • Our neighbor states are populated by Neanderthals. Do we need to be too?
  • Our governor said she’d veto MD hunting, now she’s broken her promise – we need to keep her honest
  • They’ve been protected since 1905 in Michigan. Somebody probably had a good reason for doing that.
  • They’re not overpopulated (but I see them everywhere… define “overpopulated”)
  • Hunting doves significantly affects their population numbers – they uh.. DIE when they’re shot. They only live for a year on average anyway.
  • They’re so pretty!
  • We have other birds to hunt. MD hunting is redundant. Plus, You won’t eat them. You just want to shoot something. Neanderthal.
  • They’re the official Michigan bird of peace. After you bungholes killed all the passenger pigeons, it’s even more important to preserve these
  • They’re not hurting anybody
  • Shooting animals is mean!

Kinda hard to make a decision when both camps sound like idiots. The one most obnoxious point either side has made though, is that the anti-hunting side is largely funded by the Humane Society of the United States, which wants to end all hunting. Seems to me that giving them a win in this issue just strengthens their resolve and expands their horizons. All other arguments being equal (if not remarkably stupid), I support the hunting vote just to preserve my other hunting rights.

State Of Michigan
PROPOSAL 06-4

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION E

A PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROHIBIT GOVERNMENT FROM TAKING PRIVATE PROPERTY BY EMINENT DOMAIN FOR CERTAIN PRIVATE PURPOSES

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Prohibit government from taking private property for transfer to another private individual or business for purposes of economic development or increasing tax revenue.
  • Provide that if an individual’s principal residence is taken by government for public use, the individual must be paid at least 125% of property’s fair market value.
  • Require government that takes a private property to demonstrate that the taking is for a public use; if taken to eliminate blight, require a higher standard of proof to demonstrate that the taking of that property is for a public use.
  • Preserve existing rights of property owners.

Should this proposal be adopted?

_____Yes _____No

I pay my mortgage, I pay my taxes, and I call my home “home“. If the government decided to take that away from me without my consent, I’d damn sure want fair compensation and a fighting chance at telling them to bug off.

State Of Michigan
PROPOSAL 06-5

EDUCATIONAL FUNDING GUARANTEE

A LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVE TO ESTABLISH MANDATORY SCHOOL FUNDING LEVELS

The proposed law would:

  • Increase current funding by approximately $565 million and require State to provide annual funding increases equal to the rate of inflation for public schools, intermediate school districts, community colleges, and higher education (includes state universities and financial aid/grant programs).
  • Require State to fund any deficiencies from General Fund.
  • Base funding for school districts with a declining enrollment on three-year student enrollment average.
  • Reduce and cap retirement fund contribution paid by public schools, community colleges and state universities; shift remaining portion to state.
  • Reduce funding gap between school districts receiving basic per-pupil foundation allowance and those receiving maximum foundation allowance.

Should this proposed law be approved?

_____Yes _____No

So… Schools get more money every year than the year before, have no specific accountability for what we get in return for the increase (improved scores, smaller classes, more teachers, etc), or how to spend it in any way… The increase in money schools get comes from the General Fund, which shortens funds available for other needs, which means higher fees and/or taxes… And this is to fund a system with poor results that discriminates against my beliefs and rewards stagnation in educational standards? No thanks.

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