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Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Controversial Adopt and Amend

Jun 28, 2019

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on July 17 regarding the legality of the legislature adopting a ballot initiative, only to amend it shortly thereafter. Specifically, this case deals with the ballot initiatives changing the state’s minimum wage and sick time leave laws, which were headed for the ballot in 2018. As allowable under law, once the necessary signatures were collected and certified, the legislature voted to adopt the two initiatives, which stopped them from heading to the ballot for a vote by Michigan residents. However, the controversy stems from the legislature amending the initiatives from their original language after they voted to approve of the initiatives.  “This is a big deal here in Michigan because of the uncertainty and lack of closure on the issue.  The Michigan Supreme Court will hear the arguments on whether the Legislature, last session, followed the right constitutional grounds in order to enact a lesser minimum wage and paid sick leave proposal than what the progressive interests were pushing to have appear on the ballot.  The decision by the court could have huge ramifications on employers and employees in the state,” explained Brendan Ringlever of MLC.

The House and Senate have requested an advisory opinion from the Court as to if they are allowed to adopt and amend an initiative during the same legislative session. The Supreme Court has welcomed members of the House and Senate to file briefs addressing:

  • Should the Court grant the requests to issue an advisory opinion
  • Whether state law allows an initiative to be adopted and amended during the same legislative session
  • Whether the two Public Acts that amended the initiatives were enacted in accordance with the Michigan Constitution

If you wish to view the oral arguments at 9:30 a.m. on July 17, the Court streams all oral arguments online, please click here to visit the live streaming webpage.

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.