The League of Women Voters of Michigan often takes positions on legislative or citizen initiatives and other proposed governmental policy or regulatory decisions. If an initiative reaches a legislative committee, a voting body or other decision makers, the League may take action (testimony, letters, phone calls, public statements, etc). The lack of public action is not indicative of the numerous decisions to support or oppose an issue that the League makes on a regular basis.
May 29, 2020: LEAGUE INTERVENES IN LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY OF DETROIT
A federal judge granted a motion to intervene to the League of Women Voters of Michigan and Detroit in Public Interest Legal Foundation v Winfrey, which seeks to force the City of Detroit to conduct an aggressive purge, based on questionable and unsubstantiated data, that would likely result in eligible voters being thrown off the City’s voter registration rolls. Read the press release here.
May 22, 2020: LWVMI JOINS LAWSUIT URGING ENFORCEMENT OF PROPOSAL 3
LWVMI and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson demanding that she enforce laws put in place by the passage of Proposal 3 in the 2018 election. The lawsuit argues that statute governing absentee voting has not yet been updated to comply with the changes made under the 2018 law. It also calls for following updated law that requires counting of votes if postmarked on or before Election Day, requiring clerks to immediately process absentee ballot requests and having local clerks pay for postage for returning absentee ballots. Read the press release here.
June 19, 2019: LWVMI JOINS LAWSUIT TO PROTEST LEGISLATURE'S "ADOPT AND AMEND" MANEUVER
The ACLU of Michigan filed an amicus brief joined by LWVMI and AAUW in support of the brief filed in the Michigan Supreme Court on behalf of Michigan One Fair Wage and Michigan Time to Care, the proponents of the 2018 successful petition drives to raise the minimum wage and provide paid sick time for all Michigan workers. The brief urges the Court to reject the legislature’s attempt to undermine the will of the voters by removing citizen-led proposals from the ballot through an anti-democratic maneuver known as “adopt and amend.” Voters Not Politicians also filed an Amicus Curiae brief, urging the Michigan Supreme Court to rule the Michigan Legislature’s “adopt and amend” practice of passing and then gutting citizen-initiated legislation in the same session unconstitutional.
April 9, 2019: OPPOSE LOCAL GOVERNMENT SANCTUARY POLICY PROHIBITION
President Judy Karandjeff submitted tetimony to the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee urging they oppose HB 4083 and HB 4090. These bills would ban a county or local government
from enacting or enforcing any kind of law or policy that limits or prohibits local officials, law enforcement officers and employees of those entities from "communicating or cooperating" with federal officials concerning the immigration status of an individual in the state of Michigan. The League supports communities that have policies in effect to welcome strangers. Read the testimony here.
March 6, 2019: CHANGING THE DEFINITION OF WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES
The League of Women Voters and other environmental advocacy groups signed on to a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA requesting and extendion of the comment deadline for the proposed rule revising the definition of “Waters of the United States” and additional public hearings. The groups believe the 60 day comment period for this proposal is woefully inadequate to allow for an adequate analysis of the proposal’s impact on the Great Lakes. The Clean Water Act is one of the most important tools our region has to protect the Great Lakes and other water bodies throughout the Midwest. The “waters of the United States” definition goes to the very heart of the system of protections that Congress enacted in the Clean Water Act. Read the entire letter here.
January 23, 2019: HEALING OUR WATERS COALTION WELCOMES NEW LEGISLATORS
As a coalition member of Healing Our Waters - Great Lakes, the League signed on to a letter urging the legislators of the 116th Conress to continue with the Great Lakes Restoration Plan. Urgent action is needed to preserve, protect and restore the Great Lakes because the longer we wait, the more expensive and difficult it becomes to solve the region's problems. Read the letter here.
November 20, 2018: GROUPS TO LEGISLATURE: DON'T USE LAME DUCK TO UNDO WILL OF PEOPLE
The United Way for Southeastern Michigan, the Michigan League for Public Policy, the League of Women Voters of Michigan and We the People held a statewide conference call to warn the Michigan Legislature not to bow to special interests and use the lame duck period to undo citizen-driven initiatives or move bills that undermine the public’s voice in government. Majority lawmakers are already signaling that they plan to use the secrecy of lame duck session between Thanksgiving and the New Year to undermine new laws and other policies that enjoy widespread support.about concerns that the lame duck legislature may consider disregardng the will of the citizens who voted. Read the entire press release here.
October 4, 2018: LEAGUE OPPOSES TUNNEL BENEATH THE STRAITS
The League of Women Voters Michigan remains opposed to the transport of oil on, in or under the Great Lakes. Gov. Snyder’s announcement today of plans to construct a tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac for this purpose is no exception. A Canadian tunnel under the Straits is not permissible under Michigan’s Great Lakes Submerged Lands Act, common law public trust doctrine, and would violate the 1836 Treaty with Michigan Tribes protecting the Straits fishing grounds. This "backroom deal" ignores safer, less costly alternatives that would address Michigan’s energy needs and guarantee the Great Lakes would never be at risk from a Line 5 oil pipeline rupture. Read the Press Release here.
June 25, 2018: PROPOSED SOCIAL STUDIES CURRICULUM CHANGES
The Michigan Department of Education has proposed changes to the K-12 social studies curriculum which will eliminate any mention of LGBT rights, the NAACP, Roe v. Wade, climate change and "core democratic values". President Judy Karandjeff sent testimony to the Michigan Department of Education noting the League's steadfast support for clear language to describe the rights and responsibilities of all citizens. "We urge you to adopt a straight-forward nonpartisan stance. Then our Standards will convey meaning and historical accuracy," said LWVMI President Judy Karandjeff. Concerned about the elimination of references to core democratic values, Karandjeff continued, "We in the United States of America celebrate democratic values that ensure the continuation of our constitutional republic. Those democratic values guide our ongoing efforts to form a more perfect union." The League’s entire letter to the MDEby clicking here.
May 21, 2018: CHANGES NEEDED ON CHILD CARE DEVELOPMENT FUND'S PLAN
President Judy Karandjeff submitted testimony to the Office of Great Start-Child Development and Care of the Michigan Department of Education concerning the Child Care Development Fund's (CCDF) State Plan for FY 19 - FY 21. The League of Women Voters has long recognized that child-care programs are a key supportive service for all families, but the poor are disproportionately impacted. Families with both low and moderate wages are struggling to find affordable, quality child care in Michigan, which is a necessity for families to be self-sufficient. The LWVMI respectfully requests that additions be added to the draft CCDF plan that would increase both the number of families receiving adequate child care assistance and the supply of high-quality child care throughout Michigan. Read the testimony here.
March 22, 2018: ON-LINE VOTER REGISTRATION
A letter in support of SBs 425-429 to develop and maintain an electronic voter registration interface to allow an applicant to submit a voter registration application electronically through the SOS website was sent to the members of the House Elections and Ethics Committee by LWVMI President Judy Karandjeff on March 22nd. 38 states plus the District of Columbia offer online registration. Online voter registration systems supplement the traditional process. Read the entire letter here.
March 6, 2018: REVISION OF LARGE-SCALE WATER WITHDRAWAL RULES IS BAD PUBLIC POLICY
Members of the House Natural Resources Committee received a letter from LWVMI on March 6th expressing opposition to HB 5638, which would turn decisions and management of our shared resources over to a single user, ignoring the rights of neighboring property owners and protection of cold-water stream habitats. Good government has a role in coordinated management, monitoring and enforcement plans. The League also strongly opposes FOIA exemptions as provided in this bill. We believe public understanding and cooperation are essential to the responsible and responsive management of our resources. Read the entire letter here.