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Collective bargaining ballot question goes before state election board

A union-led effort to amend the Michigan Constitution to guarantee labor bargaining rights will go before a state elections panel today.

The Protect Our Jobs campaign will ask the Board of State Canvassers to pre-approve its petition to get on the November ballot.

The proposed amendment would foil Republican efforts to make Michigan a right-to-work state, and block dozens of other GOP-proposed restrictions on union organizing and fundraising. The organizers had not planned to get elections officials to sign off on the petition – to make sure the forms are technically correct as printed. But a Republican bill in the Legislature threatens to force the campaign to throw out signatures it’s already gathered and start over unless it gets that approval.

Another ballot question that would require corporations to report their political spending has folded its efforts to get in the November ballot less than two weeks after it launched. Organizers of that proposed amendment say they are aiming now for the 20-14 election.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.