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  Michigan atty general rejects union bargaining-rights ballot bid
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Last EditedScottĀ³  Aug 06, 2012 09:25pm
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AuthorDavid Bailey
News DateSaturday, August 4, 2012 03:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description"A proposed referendum that would enshrine the right to collective bargaining in Michigan's state constitution is too complicated for the ballot, the state's top legal official said, dealing a major blow to the labor movement's campaign for the measure.

Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, said in a legal analysis obtained by the Detroit Free Press and published on Friday that Michigan ballot measures are limited to 100 words and the implications of the proposed measure are so numerous that it would be impossible to communicate them.

"Just to give a single word to each constitutional and statutory alteration would require double the allowable words," Schuette wrote.

A coalition of unions, supporters of the "Protect Our Jobs" measure, submitted petitions with nearly 700,000 signatures, twice the number needed, to get the measure on the ballot. Petition challenges must be filed by the close of business Aug. 8, and a decision whether to place it before voters by a state election board is expected by mid-August.

The coalition includes the AFL-CIO labor federation, the United Auto Workers and the Michigan Education Association.

In an analysis prepared at Governor Rick Snyder's request and dated July 20, Schuette said the proposed referendum could limit or eliminate parts of 18 provisions in the state constitution and 170 state laws, and raises fundamental questions about the future control of private and public employment in Michigan."
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