Michigan Dems choose to support repeal of Emergency Mgr law but not renewable energy ballot proposal



UPDATED: I was unaware that a “No” vote on the repeal of Public Act 4 means that the law will NOT go back into effect. “No” is the desirable vote. I have edited accordingly. My apology for the error.

In what will be a huge disappointment to many progressives across Michigan, Democrats chose not to support a key ballot initiative at their convention this weekend. They will not be supporting the initiative to require 25% of our energy to be from renewable sources by 2025 (Proposal 3) but will be supporting the repeal of Public Act 4.

A November ballot proposal seeking a 25 percent renewable energy mandate in the state constitution will not get endorsed by the Michigan Democratic Party at the party’s state convention this weekend.

But the Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs campaign did win the endorsement Sunday of the United Auto Workers.

“I think it’s good for the Big Three,” UAW President Bob King told The Detroit News after urging members to vote “yes” for Proposal 3.

The ballot campaign, however, suffered a setback when construction and utility unions protested inclusion of the initiative in the Michigan Democratic Party’s 2012 platform, arguing that mandating more solar and wind power could lead to fewer union jobs at coal-burning power plants.

The issue exposed a rift between labor unions that Democratic Party leaders hoped to smooth over Sunday as activists prepared to vote on the party’s platform. {…}

Democrats are urging a “no” vote on Proposal 1 to repeal the emergency manager law, Brewer said.

The killing of the resolution to support Prop 3 is a short-sighted, selfish move, in my opinion. It puts the desires of a two groups of union members over the welfare of everyone in our state. The support by the UAW is suggestive, too, I might add. As Muskegon Critic pointed out in his piece at Blogging for Michigan, Prop 3 would actually INCREASE the number of jobs in Michigan and pave the way for a solid renewable energy industry in our state. It would also be a step forward in decreasing the harmful environmental and health impacts of burning coal in our state.

The decision to support the repeal of the Emergency Manager Law is the correct one. Public Act 4 has already proven that it does not work. None of the cities where it has been implemented have come out from under an Emergency Financial Manager and their are countless examples of the EFMs doing more harm than good.

The Dems are supporting Proposal 2, the Protect Our Jobs/Protect Working Families ballot proposal, as well as the home health care proposal (Proposal 4.) They declined to take a position on the bridge and casino proposals, however.

I’m hopeful that Prop 3 will succeed without the support of Michigan Democratic Party but it’s a profound disappointment that they didn’t find their way to put their weight and support behind this progressive initiative.