Area legislators weigh in on statewide ballot proposals

“I’ve read the legislation backwards and forwards, and it reiterates that in no way shape or form can Michigan tax dollars be used on this bridge — bottom line.”
– Rep. Rick Outman

The Daily News

By Cory Smith

SIDNEY — With the general election right around the corner on Nov. 6, state legislators used Monday’s one-hour Legislative Luncheon at Montcalm Community College to update and inform those in attendance on six ballot proposals that voters will decide.

Rep. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, discussed all six proposals and said this year’s election is as important as any because five of the six proposals have the potential to amend the state constitution.

Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, who answered questions about the proposals after Outman finished discussing them, said people need to educate themselves before heading to the polls.

“All of your clerks have sample ballots,” Emmons said. “I encourage everyone to get an absentee ballot if they qualify, because this is going to be a very long ballot for folks.”

Emmons added that all information about ballot issues can be found on the Secretary of State’s website at michigan.gov/sos online.

Proposal 6

Proposal 6 would require the approval of a majority of voters at a statewide election and in each municipality where new international bridges or tunnels that are to be located before the State of Michigan may expend state funds or resources for acquiring land, designing, soliciting bids for, constructing, financing, or promoting new international bridges or tunnels.

According to Outman, this is the defining issue of the six ballot proposals to vote on in November.

“This is the biggie,” he said. “There isn’t one business organization that is opposed to building this new bridge,” he said. “As far as I can tell is, the only people opposed to building this bridge are the people associated with the Moroun family and the Moroun family themselves, the people associated with the Ambassador Bridge.”

Outman said the new International Trade Crossing Bridge, which is to be located just south of Detroit and would connect a new crossing into Canada, would be vital for trade in the future, adding that Canada is Michigan’s largest trading partner.

“We want to increase trade and make it easier to trade,” he said.

According to Outman, Canada is “paying the bill” and will recoup their investments through toll fees.

“I’ve read the legislation backwards and forwards, and it reiterates that in no way shape or form can Michigan tax dollars be used on this bridge — bottom line,” he said.