Overview of Michigan Ballot Proposals this 2020 Election

You’ll find a breakdown of what proposals are on the Michigan ballot below, as well as links to more detailed descriptions of each one.

It's not just people Michigan citizens will be casting votes for this November. Two proposals to amend the state's constitution will also be on the ballot.

One is pretty technical and deals with how the state spends money it earns from oil and gas companies. The other is pretty simple and clarifies individual personal protections.

Proposal 1: Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

Currently, whenever Michigan leases public land to oil and gas companies for drilling and resource mining, it receives money that gets placed in a trust fund. Some of those funds are spent on acquiring new public land and operating Michigan State Parks, while the rest is diverted into the General Fund, which lawmakers pull from when they decide on the state budget.

At the heart of Prop 1 is how citizens want money the state earns from gas and oil companies spent. Approving it would increase flexibility for how the money is spent on improving public parks, but it would also cease any funds from going into the General Fund. 

However, any shift in funds wouldn't take effect for at least three decades. That's because the funds that oil and gas royalties get dumped into wouldn't be diverted until after they reach a certain amount. An analysis from the Citizens Research Council concluded that wouldn't happen until at least 2050.

Read more here.

Proposal 2: Electronic data privacy

While most Michigan law enforcement agencies consider any electronic data or communications to be private and protected from unlawful search and seizure, there is no explicit reference to that data in the state constitution. 

In a separate case in California, concerns over whether electronic data was considered protected under the fourth amendment were addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court. A unanimous ruling from the court said law enforcement must obtain a search warrant before they can investigate someone's private electronic data. 

Prop 2 would amend the Michigan State Consitution to reflect the federal constitution. 

Read more here.