Michigan LGBT rights ballot drive officially dead after appeal denied
The Michigan Supreme Court won't hear the appeal of an LGBTQ-rights ballot committee that contended officials wrongly disqualified tens thousands of signatures it submitted for an initiative to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Michigan ballot drive would subject governor, lawmakers to FOIA
LANSING, Mich. – Advocates for open government said Monday that they will launch a 2022 ballot drive to subject Michigan's governor and Legislature to public-records requests. Michigan is one of just two states that wholly exempt the governor's office and is among eight states where lawmakers are explicitly exempt. “The public is sick of it and we're done playing games.”The legislation that received unanimous House approval two years ago would have removed a specific exclusion of the governor and lieutenant governor from FOIA requests. But various records and information would be exempt, including those related to gubernatorial appointments; pardons and commutations; budget recommendations and spending cuts; the executive residence; constituent communications; and information or records subject to executive privilege. Unlike with other FOIA requests, however, people seeking legislative records could not have gone to court.
Michigan judge gives time to LGBT rights drive, wont cut signatures
LANSING, Mich. A Michigan judge on Wednesday gave an LGBT rights ballot drive more time to collect signatures due to coronavirus stay-at-home restrictions but refused the group's request to slash the number of signatures needed to make the ballot. The decision will help the group's efforts to now qualify for the 2022 ballot rather than the 2020 election. Tolling the signature expiration for ballot questions is no less burdensome or fraught with peril to the public, she wrote. Fair and Equal Michigan had nearly 178,000 signatures as of May 24, with roughly 135,000 projected to be valid nearly 40% of the 340,047 required. Co-chairman Trevor Thomas said the judge recognized that COVID-19 impacted the fundamental constitutional rights of our nearly 200,000 supporters.