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Calley: Part-Time Legislature Ballot Drive Destined for Court Fight

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Image credit: michigan.gov

“Ultimately, this entire system will go to any lengths to protect itself and how it works today.”

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Michigan House of RepresentativesJake Neher/WDET
Jake Neher/WDET

Michigan House of Representatives

The ballot campaign to adopt a part-time Legislature amendment in Michigan decided to skip getting its petition approved by a state elections board. The leader of the campaign, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, says he’s comfortable fighting any challenges in court.

Getting a petition form pre-approved is a voluntary step that’s supposed to avoid legal hassles later on. But Calley says he doesn’t think a court battle can be avoided.

Ultimately, this entire system will go to any lengths to protect itself and how it works today,” he said after suggesting the Board of State Canvassers shouldn’t take up the petition because the board chair has a consulting contract with an organization that’s criticized the proposal.

But Calley also muddied the waters by refusing to say whether he actually intended to withdraw the request for the board to review the petition. That’s how the board interpreted Calley’s request and dropped the matter. 

Calley is trying to get the proposal on the 2018 ballot. He’s also expected to run for governor next year.

Critics say his proposal doesn’t clearly identify all the different ways it would change the state constitution.


Rick Pluta has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.

Follow @rickpluta

 2018 Elections in Michigan

This post is a part of 2018 Elections in Michigan.

On November 6, Michigan voters will decide who will be the state's new governor, attorney general and secretary of state. Some state House and Senate seats are up for grabs, and numerous initiatives are expected on ballots.

WDET is committed to providing honest, fair, inclusive coverage of Michigan's 2018 elections. Join us now and all the way to the voting booth to be an informed voter.


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