Our system of government is set up to advocate for the will of the majority, while also protecting the fundamental rights of the minority. That isn’t happening in Michigan. On the last day of session, Republicans rammed Senate Bill 571, a 53-page bill, through the Legislature with zero committee review and zero public input. This bill, SB 571, not only increases corporate influence and money over elections, but also silences school districts, local governments and even librarians from educating the public about local millages and bond proposals. Regardless of the fact that some Republicans have admitted that they never read the bill and probably do not support it, Gov. Rick Snyder signed it into law anyway.
Thankfully, Michigan voters have the ability to repeal this particular bill. After all, it seems a bit unfair that corporations have access to unlimited speech, but librarians do not. Voter referendums are crucial to our democracy, because they give Michiganders the ability to keep the government in check when they pass a bad law. Michigan’s constitution allows voters to repeal laws they disagree with by way of a voter referendum, but there is a catch. Any law that contains spending — an appropriation — is exempt. And the Republican-led Legislature regularly abuses this “catch” to actively subvert the will of the people.
From 2011 through 2014, unnecessary appropriations shielded a number of controversial bills from voter referendum. That includes right-to-work, the repeal of item pricing, the implementation of emergency managers and myriad anti-union laws. All those laws were unpopular with Michigan voters, but they never had the opportunity to repeal them. It is completely undemocratic.
Full Article: Michigan: Where voters pay for their disenfranchisement.