Casino ballot proposal will not appear on Nov. ballot
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the challenged ballot proposal that would allow construction of eight new Michigan casinos will not appear on the November ballot.
In a narrow 4-3 ruling, the majority ruled the proposal could not appear on the ballot because organizers failed to properly communicate to petition signers and the general public that the proposal would significantly alter the powers outlined in the state consitituion for the Liquor Gaming Commission.
The proposed constitutional amendment would have allowed construction of casinos in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Romulus, DeWitt, Pontiac, Birch Run, Clinton Township and Clam Lake Township.
John Truscott, spokesman for the group opposing the measure, Protect MI Vote, said the ruling is a victory for voters.
“Voters owe the Michigan Supreme Court their thanks today for not rolling the dice with Michigan’s future,” Truscott said. “We have said all along that this proposal was poorly written and a terrible piece of public policy for the state. Thankfully, the court recognized that as well.”
Protect MI Vote represents, among other businesses, the three Detroit casinos and three tribal casinos, including Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort.
“We hope this day is remembered the next time a group of secretive investors attempt to guarantee casino and liquor licenses in our constitution,” Truscott said.
The backers of the proposal say they may try to get a similar proposal on the 2014 midterm ballot.
The proposal was not approved by the Board of State Canvassers last month, since there was not a bipartisan majority in favor of putting it on the November ballot. The proposal was then taken to the Supreme Court again, where it was struck down Wednesday.
In three unanimous decisions, the Supreme Court also ruled three other proposals onto the ballot.
A ballot proposal backed by unions around the state and opposed by several conservative coalitions that would guarantee collective bargaining rights in the state constitution was upheld. It would essentially block any right-to-work legislation from passing.
Another approved proposal backed by Tea Party groups statewide would require a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature to raise taxes.
A third proposal would require a vote on construction of any new international bridge. It is designed to block construction of a new public bridge from Detroit to Windsor.
That means voters will have to decide on five ballot proposals and one referendum.
The referendum would dump Gov. Rick Snyder’s controversial emergency financial manager law.
The other two ballot proposals would require 25 percent of Michigan’s energy come from renewable sources by 2025 and would create a registry of home health care workers and guarantee them unionization rights.
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