What to know about Michigan ballot Proposal One
UPPER MICHIGAN (WLUC) - As you head to the polls next month, you’ll see three proposals on your ballot.
Proposal One would change limits for state senate and house terms. Rather than allowing three, two-year terms in the House and two, four-year terms in the Senate for a total of 14 years – the proposal would allow 12 total years in the legislature without a limit on which branch they occupy.
It would also enforce financial disclosure for representatives.
Supporters say removing stipulations on where they spend their 12 years would allow communities to better know their representatives.
“It gives you time to go back and have those town hall meetings, have office hours, have a constituent call your office and say, ‘I have this problem can you help me,” Michigan Chamber of Commerce President Jim Holcomb said. “It builds rapport and builds a connection between your elected official and constituents which is good for everyone.”
Those in opposition to the ballot proposal say the longer a legislator stays in one office, the more they are disconnected from the people in their district.
“The longer they are there, the less time they spend with their constituents where they should be finding out what the constituents’ interests and how they perceive bills and other things going on. We need rotation; being a politician should not be a career,” No More Time for Career Politicians Executive Director Kurt O’Keefe said.
It would also require state legislative officials to file annual financial disclosure reports on their sources of income except from religious, social and political organizations.
Holcomb says the provision will lead to more transparency.
“It is all about making sure voters know whom they are voting for and what possible conflicts could exist,” Holcomb said. “Even if there is not a conflict it is just good to have as much information as possible in the voters’ hands.”
O’Keefe says the provision’s wording is misleading.
“The disclosure provision if you read it does not require disclosure of income; it says disclosure of sources of income,” O’Keefe said.
To read ballot Proposal One for yourself visit the Michigan House website.
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