Constitutional Amendments on Parents' Rights, State University Boards, More

March 29, 2018 MichiganVotes weekly roll call report

The Legislature is on spring break with no sessions scheduled until April 10. Rather than votes this report contains some noteworthy legislative proposals to amend the constitution. To become law these require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate and approval by voters.


Senate Joint Resolution M: Give legislature power to cancel administrative rules
Introduced by Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would give a majority of the legislature the power to cancel administrative rules promulgated by state departments. Also, each state department would have to post a list of core services for which it is uniquely responsible, annual spending on these and key performance measures. Then, the governor’s annual budget recommendation would be required to have two parts, a core services budget and a budget for everything else. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.

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Senate Joint Resolution P: Limit authority of university governing boards
Introduced by Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would limit the powers of the governing boards of the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State to those prescribed in state laws enacted by the legislature. The constitution now grants these boards “general supervision and control” of the universities, which this measure would make subject to limitations established by the political branches (legislature and governor). Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution DD: Replace elected university boards with governor appointments
Introduced by Rep. James Lower (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to no longer elect the directors of the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State. The institutions’ governing boards would instead be appointed by the governor upon the advice and consent of the Senate. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution EE: Impose term limits on university governing boards
Introduced by Rep. Aaron Miller (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to elect the eight-member governing boards of the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State for four year terms, rather than the current eight-year terms, and limit members to two four-year terms. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution HH: Ban conflict of interest voting by legislators
Introduced by Rep. Scott Dianda (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to prohibit legislators from voting on bills in which they have a direct financial interest. See also House Bill 5730, which would criminalize legislator conflict of interest voting; and House Bill 4968, which would ban local planning and zoning board members from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest. All three measures have been referred to committee with no further action taken at this time.


Senate Joint Resolution Q: Make “best interests of the child” paramount over parental rights
Introduced by Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment that would establish that public officials' determination of the best interests of a child "are paramount to the rights of a parent and all other factors in determining whether parental rights should be terminated” in child custody proceedings, juvenile justice cases or cases of child abuse and neglect. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.


House Joint Resolution II: Establish parental rights as paramount
Introduced by Rep. Gary Glenn (R) , to place before voters in the next general election a Constitutional amendment to establish that, “parents and legal guardians have a natural and fundamental right to direct the care, education, and upbringing of their children. No government action shall burden, abridge, or hinder this natural, fundamental right unless it is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.” 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.


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