HANCOCK - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was at Northern Michigan University in Marquette Tuesday to answer questions from the public regarding the six proposals on the ballot for the general election Nov. 6. The session was streamed live across the U.P. to locations in Hancock, Escanaba and Iron Mountain.
State Rep. Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine, moderated the Hancock live stream at the Copper Country Intermediate School District. Those in attendance wrote their questions down and gave them to their moderator who then read them to the governor.
Before taking questions, Snyder gave his own view on how he's going to vote regarding the proposals.
Scott Viau/Daily Mining Gazette
Citizens wanting to know about the Michigan proposals gathered at the Copper County Intermediate School District to view a live stream of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder giving his opinion on the proposals. The event in Hancock was moderated by State Rep. Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine.
" Yes on (Proposal) 1 and no on the rest. I think it's critically important," Snyder said. "One of the things that really concerned me was all the TV and radio ads. There's a ton of misleading information out there and I was concerned people weren't getting the facts."
The Q & A kicked off with a question about Proposal 6, an amendment to the state Constitution that would require Michigan residents to vote on the construction of any international bridge or tunnel.
"No on 6 would allow us to move forward a lot faster and better on the new international trade crossing," Snyder said. "This proposal, if it passes, could derail some other good projects."
Snyder also said he did not support Proposal 6 because the decision whether to build a bridge is not something usually voted for, citing the Mackinac Bridge and the bridge between Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario as examples.
Another issue of concern was regarding Proposal 3, which would amend the state constitution to mandate that by 2025, 25 percent of energy comes from renewable resources. Snyder said he is planning to vote against the proposal because Michigan already passed a law to have 10 percent of renewable energy by 2015.
"I actually believe in renewables. I think there's an opportunity for more wind and solar, but to do it in a thoughtful way," Snyder said. "Shouldn't we all get to 2014 or 2015 and then simply all have a good public discussion and say 'What's our new goal and what year it should be?' That's common sense."
A hot button issue this election is Proposal 2, which would grant collective bargaining rights to public and private workers, but also invalidate a number of laws that have already been created regarding collective bargaining. It may also prohibit some workers from striking.
Snyder said he is not against collective bargaining and has participated in collective bargaining twice with state employees since becoming governor. Snyder said Proposal 2 is an overreach in terms of protecting it.
Proposal 4 is also connected with collective bargaining, but gives it to in-home care workers. Snyder disagrees with this because unions would then require them to pay union dues.
"They probably need those dollars for their own quality of life," Snyder said.
Snyder said he is also concerned with Proposal 5, which would require a two-thirds majority vote to impose new or additional taxes, as well as expanding the base or increasing the rate of taxation.
"What it really does is mess up tax reform," Snyder said. "As well as tax cuts."
The only proposition that Snyder is in favor of is Proposal 1, which authorizes the governor to appoint an emergency manager to school districts or municipalities in financial distress.
Snyder said there are only eight communities in emergency status out of 2,500 different jurisdictions and school districts in the state of Michigan.
"We improved the old emergency manager law in two ways," Snyder said. "We put in an early warning system to help communities avoid ever needing an emergency manager and secondly, empower the manager so they can come in, do their work, get their job done, not be there for too long a period of time and transition back to the community."
The polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.