Over the past week, House Speaker Jase Bolger has released statements announcing his stance on the six statewide ballot issues voters will face in the Nov. 6 general election.
Bolger said he was in favor of keeping the emergency manager law he helped passed, urging voters to vote “yes” on Proposal 1, the referendum on Public Act 4 of 2011.
The Marshall Republican also urged “no” votes on Proposal 2 (collective bargaining), Proposal 3 (renewable energy mandate) and Proposal 4 (home health care worker regulations and limited collective bargaining rights).
On Wednesday, Bolger issued a statement indicating he is not taking a public position on Proposal 5 (which seeks a two-thirds threshold for the Legislature to raise taxes) and Proposal 6 (an initiative funded by the owners of the Ambassador Bridge seeking a constitutional amendment requiring statewide votes of the people for new publicly-owned bridges and tunnels to Canada).
“I urge voters to do their homework and consider all consequences of these amendments.”
“While I like the idea of requiring a super majority to raise taxes as required by Proposal 5, I share legal concerns that the proposal might stop important tax reform that would benefit taxpayers. Such a potential problem could include the inability to reform taxes in a way that results in an overall tax cut because one of the included taxes is expanded. For example, this amendment could prevent a future move to a fairer tax by eliminating exemptions and loopholes but lowering the overall rate for all taxpayers.”
“As for Proposal 6, I have repeatedly stated that taxpayers should not be put on the hook for debt nor operation costs for a new international bridge in Detroit. Although the governor’s proposal on the Detroit bridge does not do that, this proposal is not about one bridge but likely all bridges in Michigan. I am concerned that the language in this amendment could lead to making it more costly, time consuming and difficult to replace many bridges, tunnels and crossings. Due to the federal matching dollars program, it also may hamper the ability of many Michigan residents to see their locally needed bridges and infrastructure improved. While it may be tempting to put one contentious project up for a vote, Michigan has many bridge crossings, and the one new proposal in Detroit is not the only one that could be impacted by this change.”