In November 2018, 62% of Michiganders voters decided to change who draws our districts so that voters can choose their politicians, not the other way around. Proposal 2 established an independent redistricting commission with mandated funding that amounts to $4.6 million in the 2019-2020 budget

Fair, balanced districts. Who could be against that? Well, apparently, our GOP state legislators are.

They don’t like Prop 2. So instead of following the will of the people, they are trying to undermine it by grabbing the $4.6 million needed from the Secretary of State’s budget. In doing so, they make it harder for SOS to shorten wait times, secure our elections, educate voters and more.

Some would call this move petty. $4.6 million is a huge cut to the SOS, but a rounding error in the state’s $59 billion annual budget. The money can easily be appropriated from the general fund. But balancing the budget is not the point. Undermining our SOS is.

This is where we come in. Let’s call these GOP legislators (phone numbers and script below) to let them know we demand that they implement Prop 2 without retribution. Tell them to restore the $4.6 million to the SOS budget.

Background:

The Republican-led Michigan Legislature is now completing the latest budget proposal for 2020. One of the line items is for the $4.6 million needed for the Citizens Redistricting Committee mandated by the passing of Proposal 2 and the redrawing of our gerrymandered voting districts. The funding could come from the General Fund like lots of other programs but the Republican-led legislature has chosen to pull it from the Secretary of State(SOS) budget. The SOS offices in Michigan are already overburdened and crowded and slashing their budget could result in longer lines and waiting periods.

The SOS is also charged with implementing the eight voting policies mandated by Proposal 3; including straight-ticket voting, automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, and no-excuse absentee voting. Under an already stressed system $4.6 million removed from the SOS’s budget is going to seriously impact the ability of the Secretary of State to implement these changes and continue to serve the public for their vehicle needs. A cut budget is  a clear message the GOP-held legislature doesn’t care that the people overwhelmingly voted for Proposal 2 and 3. They want to score political points by cutting the budget out from under Democrat Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Call these Republicans in Lansing and demand they find another way to finance the Proposal 2 Citizens Redistricting Commission and keep the Secretary of States budget intact. 

Sen Ruth Johnson(R)  – (517) 373-1636

Sen Jim Runestad(R) – (517) 373-1758

Sen Kenneth Horn(R)  – (517) 373-1760

Sen Dale Zorn(R) (517) – 373-3543

Rep Scott VanSingel(R) – (517) 373-7317

Rep Gary Howell(R)- (517) 373-1800

Rep Julie Calley(R)- (517) 373-0842

Rep Tommy Brann(R)- (517) 373-2277

 

Script for Calling Republican Leadership in the Michigan Legislature:

Hi, I’m calling to urge Senator/Representative *_______ to keep the Secretary Of State 2020 budget intact and fund the Citizens Redistricting Commission from the General Fund or other source. The SOS’s offices are already overburdened. I also have a concern that the Proposal 3 voting policies scheduled to be implemented by the SOS office, could be affected by a slashed budget. Find another source for the $4.6 million. Thank you.

References

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/14/redistricting-money-would-transferred-legislature-under-bill/3668687002/

https://www.bridgemi.com/public-sector/heres-how-michigans-redistricting-commission-would-work

https://thinkprogress.org/republicans-are-undermining-michigans-redistricting-effort-secretary-of-state-says-944a99601ec2/