Dan Gilbert launches ballot drive aimed at cutting Michigan auto insurance premiums

Gilbert's move could cut governor out of loop

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

LANSING, Mich. - Businessman Dan Gilbert is set to launch a ballot initiative to overhaul Michigan's auto insurance laws.

The plan Gilbert is pushing for could go around the Legislature. If it's not passed by both sides of the House, it would go to the voters in 2020.

If the plan is passed by a simple majority, it becomes a law, with no option for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to veto.

But first, he needs 340,000 signatures, so he's put together a specialized team to collect them.

Gilbert has been ready to jump into the auto insurance fight for two years. Now, his way could cut Whitmer out of the loop or take away any leverage she might have in making a deal with Republicans, since his plan is reportedly similar to theirs, with possible savings of $1,200 per year.

Several Democrats who announced their own insurance caucus Monday are furious.

Gilbert's move could also possibly force a deal between the governor and Republicans. At the very least, the GOP is much less likely to give in to Whitmer's plan, which wants to allow for at least $250,000 of injury coverage.

Whitmer also wants to tie auto insurance to her roads package that revolves around the gas tax hike.

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