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.
LWVMI supports five ballot proposals:
JUNE 11, 2022: SUPPORT LEGISLATION THAT PREVENTS STUDENTS BEING REMOVED FROM SCHOOL
The League supports SB 634, 635 and 636 and HB 5297, 5298 and 5299 which would reduce student removals from school, while protecting students and ensuring that their due process rights are protected during disciplinary actions. The positions that allow for this action are LWVMI’s Positions on Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice and Public Education (Pre-K-12) in Michigan and LWV US’ Position on Violence Prevention.
JUNE 11, 2022: SUPPORT FAIR LENDING BALLOT PROPOSAL
In Michigan, payday lenders can charge triple-digit interest rates. The typical payday loan carries a 370% annual rate. This ballot proposal that the League supports would ensure payday lenders cannot charge more than 36% APR and would allow the state attorney general to prosecute lenders who exceed that rate. This action is supported by the LWVUS position on Social Policy.
May 14, 2022: OPPOSE PHYSICAL EXAM REQUIREMENT
LWVMI opposed HB6069 which would require women considering an abortion to undergo a physical exam before a medical abortion could be administered. This is a change from the current law which allows for a telemedicine consultation. The position that allows for this action is LWVUS position on Right to Privacy.
May 3, 2022: LWVMI SUPPORTS FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY
LWVMI supports the petition for a constitutional amendment that would require: 1) The Governor, Lt. Governor, SOS, Attorney General and Legislators to file annual financial statements and 2) changes term limits from 6 years in the MI House, and 8 years in the MI Senate to 12 years total–that could be served in a combination or in the House or Senate. The action is supported by the LWVUS position on Citizen Rights & Representative Government.
April 8, 2022: ABOLISH LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE SENTENCES FOR JUVENILES
The LWVMI supports SB 848-852 which would abolish life without parole sentences for juvenile offenders ages 17 and under in Michigan. This action is supported by LWVUS Sentencing Policy position and the LWVMI Social Policy position: Youth Justice.
April 8, 2022: SUPPORT SOLAR ENERGY CREDIT
House Bills 4715-16 would remove existing policy restrictions in Michigan to allow for the development of small-scale community solar projects that would enable greater access to solar, lower utility bills and create jobs and economic development across the state. Under the legislation, residents could subscribe to a portion of a community solar project and receive credit on their electricity bill for the power produced, just as if the panels were on their own roof. This action is supported by the LWVUS position on Energy.
April 8, 2022: SUPPORT DEBT REDUCTION OF JUVENILES IN JUSTICE SYSTEM
The LWVMI support HB 4987 and 4991 to reduce the debt of juveniles involved in the justice system, including legislation by 6 states to reduce debt for juveniles. Youth and their parents/guardians are not responsible for costs of care, services, court-appointed representation, or other costs related to juvenile court proceedings. This action is supported by LWVMI positions on Social Policy: Children and Youth, Juvenile Justice and Criminal Justice.
April 8, 2022: SUPPORT ELECTION REFORMS
The LWVMI supports HB 5945-5952 which provide for an online application for absent voter ballots, expand the absent voter ballot tracker program, prohibit the open carrying of firearms within 100 feet of a voting location, prohibit making false statements concerning elections, provides voting procedures for early voting, prohibit the disclosure of information of QVF and registration records for electors under 18, requires the state to reimburse costs for certain special elections, requires voters to be notified of a missing signature or signature mismatch on an absent voter application or ballot. This action is supported by the LWVUS position on Voter Representation/Election Systems.
April 8, 2022: OPPOSE OPEN CARRY OF FIREARMS WITHOUT A PERMIT
LWVMI opposes SB 489-492 that would repeal the current requirement to obtain a concealed pistol license for individuals who are not otherwise prohibited from possessing a pistol and allow concealed carry without a license where other open carry or concealed pistol license holders are currently allowed to do so. This action is supported by LWVMI Social Policy position: Early Intervention for Children at Risk, Violence Prevention and Gun Policy.
March 25, 2022: MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST LWV
February 12, 2022: SUPPORT OPEN MEETINGS ACT AMENDMENT
The League supports SB 854 that would amend the Open Meetings Act to include medical conditions including injury, disability, or other health-related condition to the circumstances requiring accommodation for remote participation. This action is supported by the LWVUS position Citizen Participation/Citizens Right to Know.
February 12, 2022: SUPPORT GOOD TIME CREDITS FOR PRISONERS
The League supports the legislative initiative petition that would repeal the Truth in Sentencing law and eliminate mandatory minimum sentences extended by disciplinary time for misconduct, and establish new types of earned credits that reduce prisoner sentences for earning a college degree or certification, being employed in prison, working in a training program, or other eligible credits. This action is supported by the LWVMI positions on Criminal Justice and Prisons in Michigan.
February 12, 2022: OPPOSE UNLOCK MI PETITION
This legislative initiative petition would make legislators or county officials responsible for public health directives after 28 days instead of public health officials. The League opposes this effort. This action is supported by LWVMI’s position on Social Policy.
February 12, 2022: SUPPORT REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM PETITION
The League supports this ballot initiative that would create a state constitutional right to reproductive freedom defined as “the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.” The ballot initiative would provide that the state can regulate abortion after fetal viability, except that the state could not ban the use of abortion to protect the life, physical health, or mental health of the pregnant individual, as determined by an attending health care professional. This action is supported by the LWVUS position on Public Policy on Reproductive Choice.
February 1, 2022: LAWSUIT AGAINST MICHIGAN INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
February 1, 2022: The League of Women Voters of Michigan, along with a coalition of voting rights advocates, filed a lawsuit today against the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission on the grounds of partisan fairness. Read the press release here. The lawsuit was filed in the Michigan Supreme Court and is specifically meant to ensure the Michigan State House map is fair from a partisan perspective.
January 31, 2022: LWVMI JOINS IN LAUNCH OF PROMOTE THE VOTE 2022
The League joined other voting rights advocacy groups and launched a ballot initiative aimed at ensuring that we have a voting system that works for everyone. “Promote the Vote 2022 provides common sense voting policies to move Michigan forward,” said Christina Schlitt, co-president of LWVMI. “Michiganders want secure and accessible elections, we want people to be able to vote without fear of intimidation, and we want to be confident that our votes will be counted. This ballot initiative takes a great step towards modernizing our elections and protecting our freedom to vote.” The initiative includes public funding and resources to help local election officials do their jobs including funding for postage for absentee ballots and ballot tracking, and secure ballot dropboxes for every 15,000 voters in a municipality. The initiative will also preserve the authority of local governments to accept funding from publicly disclosed, public and charitable sources.
January 14, 2022: LAWSUIT AGAINST KENT COUNTY APPORTIONMENT COMMISSION
The League of Women Voters of Michigan has called on the Michigan Supreme Court to end partisan gerrymandering at the county level. The League is asking the Court to hear its appeal from a Court of Appeals order upholding the Kent County Apportionment Commission’s County commission map for 2022-30 despite its clear partisan gerrymandering. The Michigan Supreme Court has never interpreted the ban on partisan gerrymandering in the 1966 law governing county reapportionment. The League’s appeal provides an excellent opportunity for the Court to do so. Read the press release here.
January 8, 2022: OPPOSE VOUCHER INITATIVES TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS
The League opposes a pair of petitions sponsored by Let MI Kids Learn that would amend the Income Tax Act to allow taxpayers to claim tax credits for contributions for education expenses under scholarship programs to private schools. This action is supported by the LWVMI’s Social Policy position, Public Education (Pre K-12) in Michigan.
January 8, 2022: OPPOSE ELECTION AUDIT INITIATIVE
This initiative calls for a so-called “forensic” audit” of the 2020 election funded by anonymous, dark money funders. The petition proposes creating a 16-member audit board, composed of political precinct delegates, that would raise money to hire private contractors to conduct another review of Michigan’s 2020 election, which Democratic President Joe Biden won by 154,188 votes. The League’s action is supported by the LWVUS position on Representative Government.
January 8, 2022: SUPPORT REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE IN MICHIGAN
The League supports HB 5542-5548 that would ensure access to safe, legal abortions in Michigan. These bills would guarantee that people are free to make their own medical decisions, including the right to use or refuse contraceptives or sterilization, deciding what type of birth control to use, if any, and if pregnant, deciding to give birth or have an abortion. The RHA repeals dozens of Michigan’s outdated abortion language. This action is supported by the LWVMI and LWVUS positions on Health Care.
January 8, 2022: SUPPORT FIREARM SAFETY AROUND MINORS
The League supports SB 550 which would provide for penalties for storing or leaving a firearm where it may be accessed by a minor. If a person fails to store the firearm in the required manner and as a result a minor obtains the firearm and uses it to inflict injury or death to himself or any other person, the person who leaves the firearm would be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or both. This action is supported by the LWVUS positions on Violence Prevention and Gun Policy.
January 8, 2022: SUPPORT FIREARM PROHIBITION FOR THOSE CONVICTED OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
The League supports HB 5371 and HB 5372, SB 678 and SB679 which would prohibit possession of firearms and ammunition by persons convicted of a misdemeanor involving domestic violence. Sentencing guidelines would be updated. A person convicted of a misdemeanor involving domestic violence could not possess, use, transport, sell, purchase, carry, ship, receive, or distribute a firearm or ammunition in this state until the expiration of 8 years after all of the following circumstances exist: person has paid all fines, person has served all terms of imprisonment, person has successfully completed all conditions of probation imposed for the violation. This action is supported by the LWVUS positions on Early Intervention for Children at Risk; Violence Prevention and Gun Policy.
January 8, 2022: OPPOSE BANS ON TEACHING CULTURALLY INCLUSIVE HISTORY
The League voted to oppose SB 460 and HB 5097 which would require the board of a school district or board of directors of a public school academy (PSA) to ensure that the curriculum provided to pupils could not include critical race theory ,the 1619 Project, or other specified theories. HB 5097 would prohibit race or gender stereotyping and in effect, prohibit instruction of any culturally inclusive history. This action is supported by the LWVUS’s positions: Federal Role in Public Education, Equality of Opportunity and the League’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy.
January 8, 2022: SUPPORT ELECTION WORKERS FROM VIOLENCE
The League support SBs 793 and 794 that would protect election workers from violence. Under SB 793, Michigan Election Law would be amended to make it a misdemeanor offense to threaten an election official due to their duties as an election official, with a maximum penalty of one years’ imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. The Code of Criminal Procedure would be amended under SB 794 to create sentencing guidelines for the offenses outlined in SB 793. This action is supported by the LWVUS Right to Vote position.