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Michigan Court Orders Prevailing-Wage Repeal on Ballot

LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Court of Appeals has ordered state election officials to certify a measure to repeal the state’s prevailing-wage law for the November ballot. A three-judge panel unanimously held that the Board of State Canvassers had wrongly disqualified the petition because people collecting signatures for it had listed non-residential buildings as their addresses. Judge Elizabeth Gleicher wrote that Protect Michigan Jobs, the group challenging the petition, was asking the court “to find a penalty where none exists,” as “Michigan’s election laws make no allowance for striking elector signatures in the event that a circulator records an incorrect address.” “To say we’re floored by this decision is an understatement—it completely guts Michigan’s election law by allowing petition circulators to conduct fraudulent activity,” Patrick Devlin, secretary-treasurer of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council and a member of Protect Michigan Jobs, said in a statement May 11. The initiative, backed by seven-figure contributions from the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, and the DeVos family, would repeal the state’s 1965 law that basically requires union-level wages and benefits on publicly funded construction projects. The Board of State Canvassers will reconsider it May 15. Read more

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