The Michigan Supreme Court ordered the Michigan Board of Canvassers to place the union-backed “Protect Our Jobs” initiative on the November ballot today, ending weeks of court challenges to the controversial measure. Organizers of the ballot proposal presented enough signatures to allow the measure to be placed on the ballot, but the Board of Canvassers had deadlocked on whether the proposal could properly be presented as a ballot initiative. Opponents of the proposal claimed it was too broad to be adequately summarized on the ballot to properly inform voters of the constitutional changes it would cause. As we previously posted, the Michigan Court of Appeals last week allowed the ballot measure to go forward. That decision was affirmed by the Michigan Supreme Court decision today.
As we have discussed in previous posts, the “Protect Our Jobs” initiative would establish a constitutional right to collective bargaining in Michigan, preempting any efforts by right-to-work supporters in the state. The initiative would also reverse some of the controversial public labor legislation passed by Michigan’s Republican-controlled legislature in the last year, including a requirement that public union employees pay at least 20% of their health care costs, a ban on graduate student organizing, and a bar against payroll deductions for public school employee union dues. It’s now up to the voters in November whether this expansive measure becomes law.