Politics & Prejudices
The lost election
Deafening silence surrounds the GOP fight against Stabenow
Published: October 10, 2012
Afterward, Johnson told reporters the federal judge's ruling was "very disappointing." Yeah, that happens in a democracy, Ruthie. Tough break, kid.
(For more on this issue, see this week's MT cover story that begins on Page 14.
Proposal 4 revisited: Thomas Morgan, an account executive for a PR firm that has been paid to try to get the home health care amendment passed, took exception to my recommendation last week to vote against it.
My reasoning was that state constitutions are supposed to set broad outlines for government, not serve as a Christmas tree to be hung with goodies for various special interest groups.
Besides, I argued, this amendment won't be needed if Proposal 2 — which I do support — passes, since it would guarantee collective bargaining rights for all employees, public and private. Proposal 4 would require the state to establish a registry for caregivers called the Michigan Quality Home Care Council, and allow in-home care workers to bargain collectively.
Morgan acted outraged, and wrote to me saying: "Proposal 2 would not allow home care providers the opportunity to organize, as you mistakenly claimed."
Really? Here's what Proposal 2 actually says. It would "grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions," and "invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively."
Looks to me like that covers everybody, except maybe the chipmunks under my porch. But there are other reasons to vote against Proposal 4 that I didn't mention last week.
Primarily, it establishes another set of unfunded mandates, since it would require the state, via the Michigan Quality Home Care Council, to "provide training for in-home care workers, create a registry of workers who pass background checks and provide financial services to patients to manage the cost of in-home care." That last part would likely cost millions.
So where's the money coming from?
The amendment doesn't say a thing about that, which is fundamentally dishonest. That's not to say we as a state shouldn't pay to provide in-home health care, or see that those providing it should be decently paid. But that should be a matter for legislation rather than the constitution, and citizens shouldn't be tricked into assuming one more vast expense.
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