Special interest groups have spread out across Michigan carrying petitions seeking everything from the recall of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder to changes in state marijuana laws.
The Detroit News
reported Monday that assorted groups are taking advantage of warmer temperatures to collect signatures aimed at getting a significant number of referendums place on the November ballot.
The activist group Michigan Rising, for example, is pushing for the recall of first-term governor Snyder because they disagree with his handling of Detroit’s financial crisis.
The group failed last year to gather the required 800,000 signatures in its first move to oust the governor. But Michigan Rising spokesman Bruce Fealk told the News the group’s plans to renew its effort beginning Monday by having its petition language reviewed by Board of Canvassers in Washtenaw County, where Snyder resides.
The issues being pushed this year for ballot referendums include an end to the state’s marijuana prohibition; a guarantee of collective bargaining rights in the state constitution; a renewable energy mandate; and voter approval to build eight casinos in the state.
Normally, only two or three initiatives end up on the ballot, and most of them never pass, according to the News.
But that doesn’t keep groups, or individuals for that matter, from trying to secure a place for their agenda on the ballot. This year, at least a dozen referendums are being sought.
“People who are blocked in the legislative session because of politics and agendas take a look at the ballot to remedy their problem or secure their position to protect it,” Tom Shields, a Lansing political consultant who has run ballot initiative campaigns, told the News.
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