Myth: “Amendment of the Michigan Constitution is an extraordinary action, rarely if ever, done.”
Fact: The Michigan Constitution has been mended many, many times. Before the 1908 Michigan Constitution was rewritten entirely in 1963, it was amended 69 times. Since our “new” Constitution was adopted in 1963, Michigan citizens have amended it 31 times.
Myth: “Amendments to the Constitution are limited to matters such as taxes and schools.”
Fact: Amendments to the Michigan Constitution have covered diverse issues and many subject areas, including:
- Article I; Section 27. (2008) Legalizing human embryonic stem cell research because the electorate thought that such research would lead to innovative medical research and provide new health care therapies.
- Article I; Section 26. (2006) Prohibiting discrimination against, or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity.
- Article I; Section 25. (2004) Recognizing the union of one man and one woman in marriage.
- Article IV; Section 41. (1972;2004) Establishing lotteries; requiring new casinos to be approved by citizen vote.
- Article IX; Section 35. (1984) Establishing the Natural Resources Trust Fund dedicating revenue from the extraction of state owned non-renewable resource for the acquisition of environmentally sensitive or scenic lands or public recreation facilities.
Myth: “Energy policy does not belong in the Michigan Constitution.”
Fact: Michigan’s future energy needs are directly addressed in Article 4; Section 50 of the Michigan Constitution. The Michigan Ballot Initiative complements the existing Constitutional provision.
§ 50 Atomic and new forms of energy.
Article IV; Section 50. The legislature may provide safety measures and regulate the use of atomic energy and forms of energy developed in the future, having in view the general welfare of the people of this state.
Myth: “We can rely on the legislature to require more renewable energy so that we reduce the money we spend on importing fossil fuels.”
Fact: The Michigan legislature has recently introduced House Bill 5447 that would repeal Michigan’s existing renewable energy standard. The American Legislative Exchange Council, sponsored by the fossil fuel industry, may push repeal of renewable energy standards in many or all of the 29 states that presently have such standards.