Governor Rick Snyder has called for campaign finance reform and election transparency in the state. A measure approved by the state Legislature late in 2015 was supposed to deal with filing deadlines, but at the last minute the bill went from 14 pages to 53 pages of legislation. And the new version was a so-called “Christmas Tree” — a version of the original bill with many random pieces attached to it. That includes a measure that would prevent school districts and other public bodies from distributing information about a millage or ballot proposal two months before an election. And local leaders aren’t happy. Governor Snyder signed the proposal into law yesterday.
Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson speaks with Michigan Public Radio Network Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta and Mayor of Dearborn Jack O’Reilly, also the president of the Michigan Municipal League.
Mayor O’Reilly of Dearborn says the new law will prevent local officials from disputing misinformation disseminated by outside groups over millage requests and local elections. And he says that would be unfair to voters.
“In this case no matter what [voters] ask me I couldn’t answer under this provision… we would be banned from answering their questions,” says O’Reilly. ”It constraints the entire process of dialogue.”