Vote No on Proposal 1
The Socialist Party of Michigan calls for rejection of statewide ballot proposal 2020-01. Under present provisions of the Michigan Constitution, royalties derived from oil and gas drilling on public lands were initially directed to the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NTRF), which provides grants to local governments for the purchase of land for recreation and for development of recreation facilities. Since 2011, when the NTRF reached its $500 million cap, oil and gas revenues have been shifted to the State Parks Endowment Fund (SPEF), which provides funding for the state park system. Continued funding for NTRF grants has in turn been limited to that derived from interest and earnings on the Trust Fund’s financial investments.
Although the proposal would reallocate oil and gas drilling revenues to the NTRF once the SPEF reaches its $800 million cap, that ceiling is not projected to be reached until the 2050s. In the meantime, the proposal would replace the NTRF’s current 25% limit on spending for the development and renovation of recreation facilities with the mandatory allocation of at least 25% of available funds for that purpose. As a result, the NTRF board and state legislature would be free to redirect the majority of NTRF funds presently allocated to acquiring land for environmental conservation. The proposal would also require that at least 20% of the SPEF’s funds be used for capital improvements.
With the backing of DTE Energy and the Michigan Oil and Gas Association, the proposal’s real purpose is to renew the oil and gas industry’s greenwashing of drilling and fracking operations and maintain its environmentally disastrous extraction from public lands as the condition for their protection and enjoyment. By driving up investments tied to greater maintenance and operations expenses, the proposal further aims to heighten budgetary pressure for increased fossil fuel extraction.
The Socialist Party of Michigan calls for public ownership of the energy industry, a massive investment in wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric power to end our dependence on fossil fuels, a state and national moratorium on hydraulic fracking, and full funding for parks and natural resources conservation through steeply graduated income taxation and a democratically planned economy centered on public use and sustainability rather than private profit.
Vote Yes on Proposal 2
The Socialist Party of Michigan calls for approval of statewide ballot proposal 2020-02. The proposal would add language to the Michigan constitutional provision affording limited protection from warrantless searches and seizures so as to include electronic data and electronic communications.
Although the proposed amendment does little more than incorporate existing Fourth Amendment case law, while failing to rectify more glaring shortcomings of the present state constitutional language, we stand unquestionably on the side of any measure to expand civil rights protections and limit the powers of the police.