DETROIT (AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday paved the way for a vote next week on key changes to …
DETROIT (AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for a vote next week on important amendments to the Detroit Constitution, which critics claim could ruin the city’s delicate finances.
The state’s Supreme Court said in a 4-3 ruling that despite Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s refusal to give her her blessing, the vote question is not doomed as state law remains silent about the implications of a governor’s objection.
Super vetoing the governor “would effectively incapacitate the political voice and voting rights of large parts of the Michigan electorate on matters of local concern where the state Constitution gives them the right to be heard,” said Judge Elizabeth Welch .
The court overturned decisions by lower courts. Proposal P is already on postal ballot papers that were distributed before the next Tuesday election.
It was authored by the Detroit Charter Review Commission after years of public hearings and other gathering efforts. Proposal P would create new municipal departments for disability rights, environmental justice, veterans affairs and economic justice. It would also create a task force to consider paying reparations to black people.
Water prices and public transport fares would be linked to income, free public broadband internet would be provided, and property tax procedures would be more geared towards struggling homeowners.
The proposed changes include more affordable housing programs, dozens of newly elected positions, and a police and fire service restructuring, according to an analysis by the bipartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.
Mike Duggan, who is up for re-election, rejects the proposal. Billboards around Detroit claim it could bankrupt the city again and force cuts in public pensions.
“The proposed charter will have a significant impact on the city’s budget. It will require new costs, some of which are relatively expensive, ”the Research Council said.
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