News

State’s top court: Detroiters can vote on city constitution

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday for a vote next week on major changes to Detroit’s constitution that critics claim could ruin the city’s delicate finances.

The state Supreme Court, in a 4-3 order, said the ballot question isn’t doomed despite Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s refusal to give it her blessing because state law is silent on the impact of a governor’s objection.

Giving the governor a super veto “would effectively disenfranchise the political voice and the vote of large portions of the Michigan electorate on matters of local concern, over which the state Constitution guarantees them a right to be heard,” Justice Elizabeth Welch said.

The court overturned decisions by lower courts. Proposal P is already on absentee ballots that were distributed ahead of next Tuesday’s election.

It was written by the Detroit Charter Review Commission after years of public hearings and other efforts to gather input. Proposal P would create new city departments covering disability rights, environmental justice, veterans affairs and economic justice. It would also create a task force to consider paying reparations to Black people.

Water rates and public transportation fares would be linked to income, free public broadband internet would be provided, and the property tax process would be tilted more toward struggling homeowners.

The proposed changes include more programs for affordable housing, dozens of new elected positions and a restructuring of the police and fire departments, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

Mayor Mike Duggan, who is up for reelection, opposes the proposal. Billboards around Detroit claim it could put the city back into bankruptcy and force cuts to public pensions.

“The proposed charter will have a sizable impact on the city’s budget. It will mandate new costs, some of them relatively expensive,” the Research Council said.
Read more on Toronto Star
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
World
DETROIT AP — Voters in Detroit on Tuesday were deciding a ballot proposal that calls for the creation of some new city departments, restructuring the police and fire departments, and...
World
ANCHORAGE, Alaska A proposed bill would upend Alaska’s longstanding system for choosing judges by allowing the governor to make direct appointments to two levels of the state’s judiciary. The...
World
MINNEAPOLIS AP — Leaders in the Minneapolis suburb where a police officer fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April are expected to vote Saturday on a resolution...
Sports
After a one day virtual hearing on Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Canada must now decide whether Premier Doug Ford’s government was wrong to intervene midway through Toronto’s last municipal election....
World
Indigenous people react after the Supreme Court judges decision to suspend the vote that defines the demarcation of indigenous lands, during a protest in front of the Supreme Court...