While the legislature remains on summer break with no votes to report, this Roll Call Report describes some recent constitutional amendment proposals of general interest.

Senate Joint Resolutions A and C; House Joint Resolution F: Remove higher education from allowable School Aid:

Introduced by Sen. Tom Barrett (R), Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D) and Rep. Matt Koleszar (D), respectively, to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to remove current language in the Constitution of 1963 that permits tax revenue earmarked to a state “School Aid Fund” to be used for higher education. In other words, tax dollars earmarked to this fund could only be spent on K-12 public schools. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Joint Resolution B: Equalize school district funding

Introduced by Sen. Tom Barrett (R), to place before voters in the next general election a Constitutional amendment to require that by Oct. 1, 2024 school year all school districts receive the same amount of money per pupil from state and local revenue. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Joint Resolution D and House Joint Resolution G: Repeal constitutional prohibition on graduated state income tax

Introduced by Sen. Jeff Irwin (D) and Rep. Rebekah Warren (D), respectively, to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to repeal an existing prohibition on imposing a graduated income tax (as opposed to Michigan’s current flat tax). See also House Bill 4481, which would authorize individual income tax rates ranging from 5 percent to 8.4 percent, with the latter imposed on annual income above $75,000. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Joint Resolution F: Repeal 1970 ‘parochiaid’ initiative ban on state support to private and religious schools

Introduced by Sen. Peter Lucido (R), to repeal the provision of the 1970 “parochiad” constitutional amendment that banned state support to private and religious schools, including allowing individuals to claim an income tax deduction or credit for expenses incurred sending a child to non-public schools. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

Senate Joint Resolution G: Protect “electronic data and communications” from unreasonable search and seizure

Introduced by Sen. Jim Runestad (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to add “electronic data and communications” to the Article I provision that recognizes the right of the people to be secure from unreasonable government searches and seizures of their “person, houses, papers, and possessions.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

House Joint Resolution K: Eliminate state board of education

Introduced by Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would eliminate the current structure of an elected state board of education, which currently selects a superintendent of public instruction, who also directs the state Department of Education. Instead, the governor would appoint the director of the department, as with other state departments. The proposal would also make explicit that the legislature has the authority to control and direct the spending of state universities. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

SOURCE: MichiganVotes.org, a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, providing concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. Please visit www.MichiganVotes.org.