This measure would require electricity suppliers to generate 25 percent of their power from wind, solar, biomass or hydropower by 2025. If approved, the policy would be added to the state constitution, meaning it could not be overturned by the Legislature.
Where they stand:
Supporters say it's a bold step that would help Michigan keep pace with competing states in clean energy development and create jobs in a sector with big growth potential. The group Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs lists dozens of business supporters, including manufacturers and installers of photovoltaic collectors, solar thermal collectors and wind energy systems.
Opponents argue it would make energy supplies less reliable, sock consumers with higher electric bills and slash rather than grow jobs. Among the critics are the state's two largest utilities, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, and numerous chambers of commerce. Opposition group Clean Affordable Renewable Energy for Michigan, or CARE, says the policy would force providers to invest $12 billion and customers to pay "thousands of dollars in higher electric bills."
Why it matters:
The initiative represents a way for the Great Lakes State to play catch-up. A report by the Citizens Research Council says 29 other states have renewable energy usage standards and that Michigan's 10 percent requirement is among the "least aggressive." If the ballot initiative passes, Michigan will be the only state with renewable energy requirements in its constitution.
Lawmakers ordered the state's energy suppliers four years ago to generate 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015. Consumers and DTE have invested in wind farms, which probably will account for most of the green power they produce. They say the existing deadline is achievable, but the 25 percent requirement would require 3,100 more wind turbines spread across an area 17 times larger than the city of Grand Rapids.
With or without passage of the initiative, the Citizens Research Council said it's likely the cost of electricity in the state will increase in the next dozen or so years because of aging facilities, federal regulations for coal plants and transportation costs that could rise.
This initiative would amend the state constitution to allow home health workers to unionize, give them limited collective bargaining rights and list them in a statewide registry.
Where they stand:
Supporters of the Keep Home Care a Safe Choice proposal say the proposal will improve the quality of and access to care for the disabled.
Opponents say the measure's real purpose is to provide for collection of union dues from home health workers after GOP lawmakers outlawed that dues collection earlier this year.
Why it matters:
The proposal is the most specifically tailored of three collective bargaining measures on the ballot: It affirms collective bargaining rights for about 42,000 home health care workers.
It's also a bid to counter the law passed earlier this year that spurred a lawsuit by Service Employees International Union Healthcare Michigan, which had been the bargaining unit for home health care aides before the law was enacted. A federal judge sided with the union and protected the contract until it expires in 2013.
The Citizens Research Council says the primary question for voters is whether such remedies should be enshrined in the state constitution or through a referendum on the state law, such as the one on the ballot pertaining to state-appointed emergency managers running struggling cities and schools.
This ballot initiative would amend the constitution to require a two-thirds vote of Michigan House and Senate lawmakers, or a statewide vote at a November election, to raise or enact state taxes. Approval by a majority of legislators currently is enough to raise taxes.