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Michigan Court Puts Hold on Prevailing-Wage Repeal

May 28, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Supreme Court on May 15 suspended a lower-court ruling that would have cleared the way to put an initiative to repeal the state’s prevailing-wage law on the November ballot. A state appeals court had ordered the Board of State Canvassers to certify petition signatures for the initiative, but the high-court ruling puts that on hold until its seven justices decide whether to hear a union-backed appeal. The lower court held that the board did not have the authority to disqualify petition signatures when the people collecting them had given false addresses. “It was well within the board’s discretion to determine whether such signatures should be disqualified for fraud,” argued Andrea Hansen, an attorney for Protecting Michigan Jobs, the coalition of unions and union contractors opposing repeal. “The remedy is to prosecute the circulator, not discard valid signatures of registered voters,” responded Gary Gordon, a lawyer for Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, the coalition of nonunion contractors promoting repeal. Pat Devlin of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council told the Detroit News that the case is about “preserving and protecting the integrity that serves as the underlying foundation of our election process.” Read more

May 28, 2018

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