State’s top court: Detroiters can vote on city constitution

Jul 29, 2021, 2:28 PM | Updated: 2:47 pm

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday for a vote next week on major changes to Detroit’s constitution that critics claim could ruin the city’s delicate finances.

The state Supreme Court, in a 4-3 order, said the ballot question isn’t doomed despite Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s refusal to give it her blessing because state law is silent on the impact of a governor’s objection.

Giving the governor a super veto “would effectively disenfranchise the political voice and the vote of large portions of the Michigan electorate on matters of local concern, over which the state Constitution guarantees them a right to be heard,” Justice Elizabeth Welch said.

The court overturned decisions by lower courts. Proposal P is already on absentee ballots that were distributed ahead of next Tuesday’s election.

It was written by the Detroit Charter Review Commission after years of public hearings and other efforts to gather input. Proposal P would create new city departments covering disability rights, environmental justice, veterans affairs and economic justice. It would also create a task force to consider paying reparations to Black people.

Water rates and public transportation fares would be linked to income, free public broadband internet would be provided, and the property tax process would be tilted more toward struggling homeowners.

The proposed changes include more programs for affordable housing, dozens of new elected positions and a restructuring of the police and fire departments, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

Mayor Mike Duggan, who is up for reelection, opposes the proposal. Billboards around Detroit claim it could put the city back into bankruptcy and force cuts to public pensions.

“The proposed charter will have a sizable impact on the city’s budget. It will mandate new costs, some of them relatively expensive,” the Research Council said.

___

Follow Ed White at https://twitter.com/edwritez

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A road is completely filled with a tall pile of debris from destroyed beachfront homes and b...
Associated Press

Ian deals blow to Florida’s teetering insurance sector

Daniel Kelly and his wife bought a 1977 doublewide mobile home in May for about $83,000 at Tropicana Sands, a community for people 55 and older in Fort Myers, Florida. But he ran into roadblocks when he tried to insure it. Managers at Tropicana Sands told him he likely wouldn’t be able to find a […]
23 hours ago
FILE - This undated photo provided by The Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows John Henry Ram...
Associated Press

Texas inmate who fought prayer, touch rules to be executed

HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas death row inmate whose case clarified the role of spiritual advisers in death chambers nationwide is scheduled for execution Wednesday, despite efforts by a district attorney to stop his lethal injection. John Henry Ramirez, 38, was sentenced to death for killing 46-year-old Pablo Castro, a convenience store clerk, in 2004. […]
23 hours ago
A customer looks at refrigerated items at a Grocery Outlet store in Pleasanton, Calif.,. on Thursda...
Associated Press

‘Best Before’ labels scrutinized as food waste concerns grow

As awareness grows around the world about the problem of food waste, one culprit in particular is drawing scrutiny: “best before” labels. Manufacturers have used the labels for decades to estimate peak freshness. Unlike “use by” labels, which are found on perishable foods like meat and dairy, “best before” labels have nothing to do with […]
23 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden attends an event to support legislation that would encourage domestic ma...
Associated Press

Can Biden save democracy one US factory job at a time?

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is working to create a manufacturing revival — even helping to put factory jobs in Republican territory under the belief it can restore faith in U.S. democracy. The latest development came Tuesday, when chipmaker Micron announced an investment of up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to […]
23 hours ago
FILE - People stand on the destroyed bridge to Pine Island as they view the damage in the aftermath...
Associated Press

Biden to focus on hurricane victims in Florida, not politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will visit hurricane-ravaged Florida with a pledge that federal, state and local governments will work as one to help rebuild homes, businesses and lives — putting politics on mute for now to focus on those in need. Hurricane Ian has resulted in at least 84 people confirmed dead, including […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Ky., arrives to speak to reporters Sept. 7, 2022,...
Associated Press

GOP optimistic about Senate chances despite Walker turmoil

NEW YORK (AP) — Leading Republicans are entering the final month of the midterm campaign increasingly optimistic that a Senate majority is within reach even as a dramatic family fight in Georgia clouds one of the party’s biggest pickup opportunities. And as some Democrats crow on social media about apparent Republican setbacks, party strategists privately […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
State’s top court: Detroiters can vote on city constitution