Ballot initiative deadline passed, only payday loan effort submits signatures ⋆ Michigan Advance


After months of circulators collecting signatures, the deadline for initiatives to create or change state law has passed — with only one group submitting signatures for placement on the November ballot.

The only submission came from Michiganders for Fair Lending according to Michigan State Department spokesperson Tracy Wimmer.

Michiganders for Fair Lending submitted 405,625 signatures Wednesday as part of its effort to reform payday lending practices.

Michiganders for Fair Lending has submitted more than 400,000 signatures in an effort to put payday loan reform on the November ballot. |
Photo provided by Josh Hovey

“Payday lenders have used the lure of quick money to prey on vulnerable Michiganders for too long. These extreme interest rate loans are designed to trap people in an endless cycle of debt, and we’re giving voters a chance this fall to fix that problem,” said Michiganders for Fair spokesperson Josh Hovey. Lending, in a press release.

At least seven other initiatives have opted to withhold their signatures, with some planning to submit their measures for inclusion in the November 2024 ballot, and others citing concerns that they did not have enough signatures to survive d possible challenges.

For a legislative initiative to be considered for the ballot, it must submit at least 340,047 signatures, or 8% of the vote in the last gubernatorial election, by 5 p.m. Wednesday. However, petition sponsors are strongly encouraged to submit more signatures than necessary, as some signatures or petition sheets may be deemed invalid because was the case with five GOP gubernatorial candidates.

Along with many efforts to introduce or change state law, there are also many initiatives to change the state constitution, including to protect reproductive rights and expand voting rights. These initiatives have a deadline of July 11 at 5 p.m. and must submit 425,059 signatures, or 10% of the vote in the last gubernatorial election.

While constitutional amendments are placed directly on the ballot after receiving approval from the bipartisan Council of State Solicitors, the Legislature has 40 days to pass or reject a citizen-led ballot proposal after the Council of State Solicitors has determined that the petition contains enough valid signatures.

Ballot proposals passed by the Legislative Assembly are not subject to the Governor’s veto.

This most recently happened last year when the GOP-led Legislature approved the Unlock Michigan proposal stripping the governor’s emergency powers, something Republicans had repeatedly criticized Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whitmer was unable to veto the measure.

If the legislature does not pass the proposal, it is put on the ballot at the next general election.

Here are all the initiatives and their submission status:

Michiganders for Fair Lending: 405,625 signatures submitted

If Michiganders for Fair Lending’s proposal passes, payday loan interest rates would be capped at 36% to reform “predatory payday lending practices.” |
Photo provided by Josh Hovey

Payday loan interest rates would be capped at 36%. Michigan’s attorney general would also be allowed to prosecute lenders that exceed that rate.

“We have eliminated any petitions and signatures missing key or otherwise invalid information. After this thorough quality control process on the 575,000 raw signatures, we are submitting 405,265 valid signatures,” Hovey said.

Unlock Michigan II: Not Submitted

While the initiative received more than the required minimum number of signatures, it did not garner enough signatures to withstand the expected challenges, Unlock Michigan spokesman Fred Wszolek said in a statement. The initiative will instead focus on passing laws in the new legislature next year.

The effort would have limited emergency orders issued by the state health department or local health departments to 28 days, unless extended by the state legislature or local governments.

Let MI Kids Learn: Not Submitted

The group presented two petitions backed by former US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

The Student Scholarship Program would have been created to pay tuition and K-12 fees for public or private schools, home schooling materials, and online learning programs for students with financial needs.

The other would make contributions to the program tax deductible.

Secure IM vote: not submitted

While the petition has garnered over 435,000 signatures, Secure MI Vote announced plans to delay filing to garner more signatures at a press conference on Wednesday.

The Michigan Republican-backed proposal would require ID for both in-person and mail-in ballot applications, eliminating an affidavit for in-person voting without ID. As part of the initiative, voters facing hardship would receive liberated ID through a $3 million public fund.

The proposal would also ban unsolicited mail-in ballot requests, require partial social security numbers for voter registration, and ban outside election funding. It would also require voters who did not present their ID in person to present it within six days of the election to have their vote counted.

“Secure MI Vote” petition booth at a right-wing rally at the State Capitol, February 8, 2022 | Laina G. Stebbins

Michigan Salary Raise: Not Submitted

Despite collecting nearly 500,000 signatures, Raise the Wage Michigan chose not to submit its signatures to make full use of its allotted time to collect signatures, according to a statement from Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage, a national nonprofit organization behind Raise the Wage Michigan. Country.

The group plans to submit 600,000 signatures in June to place the question on the ballot in November 2024.

Raising the Michigan wage would raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years. The increases would have started in 2023, bringing the minimum wage to $11 an hour from the current minimum of $9.87.

Similar legislation was passed in 2018 by the GOP-led legislature, preventing the proposal from passing. The proposal was later amended to reduce the magnitude and rate of the increase.

IM Audit: Not submitted

This proposal by supporters of former President Donald Trump would launch a “forensic audit” of the 2020 election.

Election audits would no longer be conducted by the Secretary of State or local election officials. The proposal would instead create an audit commission of 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans selected by the Legislative Assembly. The board could raise public and private funds and would not be required to disclose private donors.

Additionally, this proposal would establish a grand jury to investigate the findings.

Right-wing rally at State Capitol demanding ‘forensic audit’ of 2020 election, February 8, 2022 | Laina G. Stebbins

Michigan United: Not submitted

This proposal would repeal truth in sentencing laws requiring convicted persons to serve their full minimum sentence. The proposal would also establish sentence-reducing credits for people who earn degrees or work in prison.

Michigan Initiative for Community Healing: not submitted

This initiative would decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms and reduce the penalty for possession of non-prescribed drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor.

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