The League of Women Voters of Michigan often takes positions on legislative or citizen initiatives and other proposed governmental policy or regulatory decisions. If an initiative reaches a legislative committee, a voting body or other decision makers, the League may take action (testimony, letters, phone calls, public statements, etc). The lack of public action is not indicative of the numerous decisions to support or oppose an issue that the League makes on a regular basis.
November 29, 2018: OPPOSE CHANGES TO EARNED LEAVE AND MINIMUM WAGE INITIATIVES
Two campaigns for changes in laws on minimum wage and earned sick time gathered more than 380,000 signatures each. As allowed in the Michigan Constitution, the Michigan House of Representatives and the Senate adopted these initiative petitions in early September. PA 357 (minimum wage) and PA 358 (earned sick time) passed in the Senate with 24 votes and in the House with 78 votes. As a result of the Legislature's actions, the initiatives were not on the November ballot for voters to decide their fate. Now the Michigan Legislature is preparing to pass SB 1171 (minimum wage) and SB 1175 (earned sick time) that will make drastic changes in these citizen initiatives. This maneuver by the Legislature is circumventing the democratic process and the will of the people. LWVMI urges supportors to tell their Michigan Representatives to oppose these changes and vote NO on SB 1171 and SB 1175. The initiatives should take effect as the people who signed the initiatives envisioned. That is what makes our democracy strong.
June 6, 2018: OPPOSE MANDATORY MEDICAID WORK REQUIREMENTS
Michigan Voters are urged to tell Gov. Snyder to VETO SB 896, the bill to require work requirements for Medicaid heath care. LWVMI opposes this bill. The bill passed by the Senate contains a 29-hour-a-week workforce requirement for able-bodied adults on Medicaid. The requirement links work to health insurance coverage. Medicaid has never had a work requirement since the program was established in 1965. The result could be more people without insurance resulting in a higher use of emergency rooms and delays in getting health care.
April 10, 2018: TAKE ACTION WITH THE MICHIGAN EQUAL PAY DAY COALITION!
To commemorate Equal Pay Day, voters were urgned to contact their state representatives and senators to support legislation that would close the pay gap between men and women. The gender pay gap is a grim reality for many working women in Michigan who on average are paid just about 80 cents for every dollar a man is paid. The effects of the pay gap are even worse for African American women (63 cents) and Latinas (54 cents). Michigan ranks 32rd in closing the gap. On average, Michigan women who are employed full time lose a combined total of nearly $16 billion every year due to the gender pay gap. This means Michigan women and families have less money to save for the future or to spend on basic goods and services – huge economic drivers.
March 12, 2018: SUPPORT ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION
The Michigan House and Senate are considering a package of bills (SB 425-429 and HBs 5548 & 5549) to require the Secretary of State (SOS) to develop and maintain an electronic voter registration interface to allow an applicant to submit a voter registration application electronically through the SOS website. Eligible voters would have to have a valid Michigan dirver's liense or a state ID card to register to vote online. Of course, the current paper registration process would also continue to be used. 38 states plus the District of Columbia offer online registration. Online voter registration systems supplement the traditional process. A validation step is done by comparing the information on the online registration form against the information provided by the same individual when he or she received a driver’s license or other state-issued identification card. The signature already on record with the state becomes the signature on record for voting. When the information does not match, the application is sent to officials for further review or action. The League of Women Voters has supported this proactive election reform for
many years. This election reform is needed in Michigan!
February 28, 2018: LWV STANDS FOR GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
In the wake of the Florida school shooting, the League reminds members and voters that our organization has fought for the sensible use of firearms, and against the Increasing use of violent weapons turned against fellow citizens—often children—within our communities for over 30 years. During the coming weeks you will find many opportunities to take a stand for gun violence prevention in your schools, houses of worship, and town-halls. The League of Women Voters of Michigan encourages you to join that debate. Raise your voice. Advance sensible arguments that protect our schools. Advocate for change. LWVMI opposes bills that allow those with concealed pistol licenses with additional training to carry in certain gun-free zones, SBs 584, 585 and 585, that are assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. LWVUS continues to support legislation to strengthen reporting to the National Background Check Database.
November 27, 2017: OPPOSE GUNS IN SCHOOLS AND OTHER PUBLIC SPACES
The Senate recently passed legislation that would change the handgun licensure law to allow carrying concealed weapons in places known as no-carry zones. Currently no-carry zones include schools, day care centers, hospitals, sports arenas, places of worship, a dormitory or classroom of a community college, or university and a large entertainment facility. The League of Women Voters opposes these bills (#584, #585 and #586) and urged voters to contact their State Representatives to oppose passge. There is no reason for allowing weapons in these public places. The League believes we should protect the health and safety of citizens through limiting the accessibility and regulating the ownership of handguns and semi-automatic weapons.
October 18, 2017: OPPOSE CHANGES IN STATE'S ABILITY TO MAKE RULES
The Senate was nearing a vote on HB 4205, which would prohibit a state agency from adopting a rule, except an emergency rule, that is more stringent than a federally mandated standard, unless the agency determined there is a clear and convincing need. The bill passed the House already. The Michigan Environmental Council (MEC) noted that many of the rules that Michigan has adopted to protect the Great Lakes have stronger requirements than the federal government. Saying this bill would jeopardize Michigan's ability to protect our environment, the MEC and other groups oppose passage of this bill. The bill would apply to ALL state departments, including education, civil rights, etc.
September 6, 2017: OPPOSE CHANGES IN MICHIGAN CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW
The Senate is nearing a vote on SB 335, which would set state regulations for independent expenditure committees, more commonly known as Super PACs. The bill states that a corporation, joint stock company, labor organization could make an independent expenditure in any amount advocating the election or defeat of a candidate or the passage or defeat of a ballot question. It also allows candidates to urge donors to give money to these independent expenditure committees so that they would ultimately fund their own campaigns. While some of the changes reflect the Citizen's United decision, the language allowing candidates to coordinate their fundraising goes beyond that decision. The coordinated fundraising permitted in the bill calls into question the true independence of the spending, which Citizens United intended to allow. The League of Women Voters is committed to reforming our nation'scampaign finance system to ensure the public's right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office and allow maximum citizen participation in the political process. The public has the right to know who funds candidates and how much is given to candidates. This bill would move Michigan in the wrong direction!
June 13, 2017: OPPOSE LEGISLATION TO PROHIBIT WELCOMING CITIES
The League is urging supporters of welcoming cities TO contact their Michigan legislators to tell them to oppose HB 4105 and HB 4334. These bills would prohibit local units of government from adopting "welcoming cities" policies for their local communities. The evidence is clear that welcoming communities are safer, and support local economics. LWVMI believes the evidence is clear that welcoming communities provide us, as Americans, with a vision for a more inclusive future; a vision resting on principles that have guided us throughout our history, as we have welcomed immigrants, refugees, and seasonal workers to join us, as we build a stronger democracy for all. Local communities should have the right to decide if they want to adopt a welcoming community policy.
March 17, 2017: PROTECT LAKE MICHIGAN AND THE GREAT LAKES
Funding for the Great Lakes is cut by 97% in President Trump’s proposed budget, from $300 million to $10 million. Only $10 million for projects in eight states surrounding all five Great Lakes means that almost no restoration, protection, or research projects will be possible to ensure the future of our natural treasures. Tell your legislators to stand strong for the Lakes and to support: 1) Maintenance of $300 million in Great Lakes funding through the EPA, 2) Increases in water infrastructure program funding. We need to replace, and improve our wastewater and drinking water systems so that no other community experiences a crisis like our friends in Flint, Michigan. Your help is needed to get the message across. Call your Representative and Senators on March 14, 15, or 16 and tell them that Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes is important to you. Any member of Congress may be reached through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
February 16, 2017: OPPOSE ELIMINATION OF STATE INCOME TAX
HB 4001 has been recommended for passage by the MI House of Representative's House Policy Committee. This bill would reduce the income tax amount from 4.25% to 3.9% on January 1, 2018 and then reduce the annual rate by one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) until the rate reaches zero. The tax would be entirely eliminated over the next 39 years. The bill would cut revenues by $680 million in the 2017-2018 fiscal year and $1.2 billion in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. No cuts in budgets were discussed. According to Michigan Treasurer Nick Khouri tax law changes have reduced Michigan state and local taxes by $2.8 billion in total since 2011. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the tax cut will greatly benefit wealthy MI citizens. The average tax cut in ten years by household income for households earning between $0 to $21,000 will be $56 and for the top 1% the tax cut will be $13,573 a year. The income tax accounted for about 67% of the general fund and 22% of the school aid revenue in FY2016. There is no replacement for the lost revenue. Funds for local units of government, services for people in need and the education of our children would be at risk. The League of Women Voters of Michigan has a taxation and budgeting position that states: All three broad-based taxes on income, sales and property should be relied upon, with more reliance on the income tax. Therefore, the LWVMI Board of Directors voted to oppose HB 4001 and urges League friends and members to contact their legislators to oppose this bill.
For Action Alerts and Advocacy prior to 2017, visit our Archives page.
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