SEIU Ballot Proposal Raises Questions

Why is the SEIU involved in a ballot initiative that would seemingly have little to do with them?

That should be the question media members and taxpayers ask themselves as we get closer to November when voters may be asked to decide on whether to enshrine into our state constitution the “Michigan Quality Home Care Council.”

The proposal is purposefully innocuous sounding, which covers up the end result of this initiative: The continuing flow of millions of dollars to a union.

As Jack Spencer reports in CapCon, the ballot proposal ensures that “The Service Employees International Union would get millions in cash, but the people it ‘represents’ wouldn't get state employee benefits if a constitutional amendment the union is pushing is passed by voters in November.”

In short, the ballot proposal ensures only things that are already allowed and being done by the state. Allow the existences of a “Home Help Program”? Check. Allow a criminal registry to help with background checks? This has been done for years. Ensure that elderly and senior citizens can stay in their homes? This is a favorite selling point for the SEIU and its allies, but the vast majority of those receiving state Medicaid money are already in their homes and will retain that ability. Especially since many of these recipients are being cared for by their own families in their own homes.

The media coverage on this issue is understandable: It is a confusing scheme and the union and groups behind the signature collections have it in their interest to cloud the issue. If the ballot initiative fails, it boils down to this: The home health care providers and patients will have all of the same rights and abilities that they have always had — they will simply not be sending money out of each paycheck to a union most were unaware of.

The only difference between whether voters pass the initiative or not? Whether the SEIU continues to receive millions of dollars every single year to add to its coffers.


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.