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Knowledge king on November ballot issues

While most of us know there's an election in November to determine who will be governor of our great state of Michigan, and a lot of people know someone – or recognize a name of someone running for the state legislature – what many folks may not be aware of is there are several ballot proposals that they will be asked to decide. Some are statewide initiatives, and others are strictly for your municipality. In a participatory form of democracy as ours, it is your duty to become knowledgeable of the ballot issues – and then make sure you cast a ballot this November.

Statewide, there is a ballot proposal to change the term limits requirement for state legislators and financial disclosure requirements for state executive and legislative officials. While Michigan currently has term limits for state representatives, for three two-year terms, and state senators, for two four-year terms, this proposal would change it to a maximum of 12 years in any one chamber, along with more financial transparency.

Potential measures that look likely to appear on the ballot is one to enshrine the right to reproductive freedom, or the right to choose, in the state Constitution. Another is a voting policy amendment that would make changes to current voting policies, which were overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2018, to permit more drop boxes, nine days of early voting, and to allow for absentee voting for every election. Another amendment would require two-thirds of the state legislature to vote to pass bills after a general election during even-number years, to prevent “lame duck” legislative sessions.

The Michigan Legislative Vote to Suspend Legislators' Salary would allow the state legislature, by a two-thirds vote, to suspend a lawmaker's salary and expense allowance for unethical actions or excessive absence.

Locally, residents in Birmingham are being asked to approve an amendment to the city's charter to raise the ceiling threshold amount for contracts to come before the city commission from $6,000 to $75,000, in keeping with many other municipalities.

Bloomfield Township residents are being asked to approve a millage increase to renew and increase the senior services millage, for a total tax rate of .3300 mills, for 10 years. Fifty percent of the township's residents are 50 years of age or older; 44 percent of households have someone aged 65 or more. The center offers services and programming for those 50 years and older.

Township residents are also being asked to approve a renewal of the Jan Roncelli safety path millage, .4511 mills for a period of five years. The existing safety path includes over 70 miles of safety path, 82,000 square feet of retaining walls, 25,000 feet of fencing, and approximately 1,180 ADA ramps at road intersections.

And Oakland County residents will see a countywide transit millage, for .95 mills, to provide transportation services to all corners of the county.

Learn what you like – or don't. Then vote.


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