Where they stand:
Supporters say requiring a two-thirds vote would stabilize the tax environment and foster agreement among legislators. The initiative has been shepherded by the Michigan Alliance for Prosperity and strongly supported by the National Federation of Independent Business, which has argued that an overwhelming need for higher taxes should be met with a corresponding level of bipartisan backing by the Legislature.
Critics argue enshrining the measure in the Michigan Constitution could create obstacles for future Legislatures, force cuts elsewhere and shift increases to fees or other charges. Snyder calls the measure bad policy that could affect the state's ability to manage its finances.
Why it matters:
The so-called supermajority requirement would have affected a recent move by Snyder that's been largely applauded in the business community — not typically known as a pro-tax crowd. Snyder successfully sought to eliminate the Michigan Business Tax and replace it with a 6 percent corporate income tax that two-thirds of businesses don't have to pay.
According to the Citizens Research Council, the proposal would add a fifth tax and expenditure limitation the state constitution. The council says Michigan would join nine states with constitutional requirements for supermajority votes to enact tax increases of any type. The council also found policymakers often look to other revenue sources not subject to the provisions, raising fees and other levies to make up for their inability to raise state taxes.
This ballot issue requires voters to approve building any new border crossing to Canada. This constitutional amendment was introduced in response to the proposed construction of a Canadian-financed bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
Where they stand:
The main proponent and patron of the proposal is Manuel "Matty" Moroun, private owner of the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor. Moroun, who has fiercely opposed the Canadian-financed span supported by Snyder, wants to add a span of his own and has spent millions on ads through a group called "The People Should Decide." He and his Detroit International Bridge Co. say a new government bridge will cost taxpayers down the road, and they were behind a petition drive that collected more than 600,000 signatures to get it on the ballot.
Voices against the proposal include Snyder, the state's four former living governors and the Detroit and Michigan chambers of commerce. Snyder bypassed the state Legislature and reached a deal in June with Canadian and U.S. officials on a new government bridge. Snyder has said that under the agreement, Michigan isn't on the hook for any bridge costs — which would be repaid to Canada through tolls collected on the Canadian side — and argues Moroun represents a special interest against the interests of 10 million state residents.
Why it matters:
The ballot measure is the latest vehicle for a long-running battle over bridge plans. Both parties want a second bridge, but for different reasons and on different terms.
Moroun says his proposed six-lane span would both enhance and replace the aging Ambassador. Once the new bridge is built, the old one would be closed for refurbishment and then used to accommodate overflow traffic. He says that's sufficient, because cross-border traffic is down since 2000.
Backers of the Canadian-backed bridge say crossings have ticked upward as the economy has improved and will surge long-term. They say a bridge two miles away from the existing span is important to capitalize on trade between the United States and its largest trading partner, as well as relieve traffic congestion at that crossing.
A majority vote of the people on the proposal probably wouldn't settle the long-running dispute. The Citizens Research Council said it may not apply to the Canadian project because Michigan has no direct responsibility for constructing the bridge, and courts likely will have to settle issues over ambiguous language in the initiative if it's passed.