Michigan Proposals and College Students’ Voters Guide

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Michigan Proposals and College Students’ Voters Guide

A two-week online poll was conducted by the Albion Pleaid to determine issues that are important to college students across the state of Michigan. The poll was published on social media and sent to political college organizations across the state of Michigan. All information was checked for bias by an editor of different political affiliations from the writer. The following is a list of school and organizations that were directly contacted to participate in the poll.

  • Albion College – College Republicans and the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy & Service
  • Central Michigan University – College Democrats and College Republicans
  • Eastern Michigan University – College Republicans and College Republicans
  • Grand Valley State – Students were contacted individually through personal contacts
  • Michigan State University – College Democrats and College Republicans
  • Oakland University – College Democrats and College Republicans
  • University of Michigan – College Democrats and College Republicans
  • Wayne State – College Democrats and College Republicans

The questions that were chosen were an equal representation of student’s grade, age, political affiliation and college. Topics that were repeated throughout the survey took priority over questions that were asked by a single individual.

The Albion Pleiad reached out to the following campaigns and requested that they respond via email to the questions we choose from the conducted poll. The following campaigns were contacted to participate in the Voter’s Guide for Michigan College Students:

  • United States Senate
    • John James, Republican
    • Debbie Stabenow, Democrat
  • Michigan Governor
    • Jennifer Kurland, Green Party
    • Bill Schuette, Republican
    • Gretchen Whitmer, Democrat

From the campaigns contacted we received responses from both United States Senate candidates. The following information is organized alphabetically by the last name of the candidate. To view your ballot prior to the election you can visit the Michigan Voter Information Center. The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

United State Senate Candidates 

John James, Republican

Photo Courtesy of — John James for Senate Campaign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How will you improve education for the younger generation, especially those who do not have the tools to succeed?

“My father was born in Starkville, Mississippi. He lived directly across the street from Mississippi State University and couldn’t go there because he was black. He refused to accept victimhood and dependency as his destiny. We have to teach students that the world doesn’t end at the walls of your school. Too many students from Michigan have been left behind. Detroit [Public] Schools have been a national example of failure for generations. After decades of promises, they are still ranked worst in the nation. We need a fresh perspective.”

When making a decision, what is your moral compass? What defines you as a person? What is your thought process when you are making a decision that will affect the citizens of Michigan?

“Faith and family. God and country. Service before self. I got my core values from my parents long before the Army drilled them into me. The decisions I make in the Senate will be carried with me for the rest of my life, and I plan on spending a lot of time in Michigan after I serve. I will be directly responsible for my decisions. I already served my country once before and came home. Now I am seeking to serve again in the Senate and then come back home.”

How will you protect Michigan’s Great Lakes?

“In the Senate, I will support collaboration and new ideas to combat the threats that our Great Lakes are facing. This is too important for just one person to fix. We have been talking about the threat of an Asian carp invasion for decades. We need more meetings and discussion of Great Lakes protection programs between the leaders of the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces to address this and other threats. Our Great Lakes are a national treasure. I take my boys to swim in those lakes. We need to set an example for the next generation of Michiganders and put politics aside to have a serious conversation about protecting the environment.”

Do you intend to work across party lines? If so, how do you plan to do so?

“I will work with anyone to bring results to Michigan. When I was serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army leading two platoons into battle, I was leading soldiers from all kinds of diverse social, economic and political backgrounds. None of that mattered because we were focused on the mission. We were fighting for all Americans, not for the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. I was proud to bring all of my men and all of my aircraft back home safely. When I get to the U.S. Senate I will, once again, work with my colleagues to accomplish the mission.”

What is your stance on the death penalty being used on people younger than 18 years of age?

“I am 100 percent against the death penalty.”

In what ways do you plan to make college more affordable?

“For starters, we should get our government out of the business of taking more money from students. The federal government makes billions of dollars in interest on student loans. Instead of selling students loans, the government should work to guarantee loans for students seeking four-year degrees or skilled trades training. We should be helping students pursue education, not trying to nickel and dime them.”

What would you do differently for our state compared to what is being done now?

“Right now, our state is effectively pushed out of discussions on major policy because we have a Senator who is unwilling to work with the other side even when it benefits Michiganders. Regardless of your political affiliation, we need increased dialogue between both sides and the state and federal government.”

Do you believe term limits should be enforced? Why or why not?

“I think term limits are a good thing. We have politicians in Washington who are too far disconnected to their constituents back home. I served in the Army and then came home to start a family. I plan to serve in the Senate and then come home to be with my family. Elected office should be a public service, not a career spent leaping from job to job. We need to do a better job holding public officials accountable.”

How do you want to help people with little to no access to healthcare?

“Current regulations are keeping patients from their doctors. We need to put politics aside and start giving people access to affordable healthcare regardless of their income level or if they have a preexisting condition. I want to increase access to health care by empowering families and businesses and their employees to make decisions on health care on their own.”

How will your political views affect students entering and graduating from college in Michigan?

“The only thing that should impact students entering and graduating from college in Michigan is how hard they are willing to work for it. Living and studying in this country is an incredible privilege. Don’t waste it by sleeping in. Wake up and go to class.”

Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat

Photo Courtesy of — Senator Debbie Stabenow’s Campaign

 

How will you improve education for the younger generation, especially those who do not have the tools to succeed?

“While K-12 education is primarily funded by the state, I believe there must be a strong federal commitment to public education, including special education, and the programs that help students thrive in the classroom.

For example, as Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I have led efforts to strengthen school nutrition and summer meal programs so that all kids can learn, grow and succeed in school. I am championing legislation that would reduce the outrageous burden of student loan debt by ending extra loan fees, allowing privately issued student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy, and allowing borrowers to refinance student loans at much lower interest rates. I voted for legislation to provide relief to borrowers who pursue careers in government and public service.

As a Senator who voted “No” on Betsy DeVos’s confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Education, I am deeply troubled by many of her actions, including her actions rolling back debt relief for students who have been defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges.”

When you are making a decision, what is your moral compass? What defines you as a person? What is your thought process when you are making a decision that will affect the citizens of Michigan?

“Michigan is my home. I was born and raised here, and I’m so glad my whole family is still here. I believe in the basic values of fairness, respect for others, equality, justice, freedom and the opportunity for everyone to have a fair shot at the American Dream. Whether it’s the cost of college, protecting our environment, health care or jobs, the decisions I make are grounded in how [they impact] people in our state and what’s best for Michigan.”

How will you protect Michigan’s Great Lakes?

“The very first bill I passed as a United States Senator was to ban oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes. Protecting the Great Lake is a top priority for me. I co-chair the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, where I continually remind people that one out of five jobs in Michigan is connected to our water and lead efforts make sure our water is clean and safe. I authored the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in 2010 that has given us a permanent funding source to address threats to our water. I also wrote the law requiring the government to take quicker action to stop Asian carp from invading the Lakes.”

Do you intend to work across party lines? If so, how do you plan to do so?

“I work every day with Republicans and Democrats to get things done for Michigan on issues like protecting funding for our Great Lakes, passing a bipartisan farm bill, getting critical help for Flint and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. I partnered with Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt to pass the Excellence in Mental Health Act, which has brought over $27 million in funding for seven new Community Behavioral Health Clinics to Michigan. My trademark is my ability to work across the aisle to get things done.”

What is your stance on the death penalty being used on people younger than 18 years of age?

“I am opposed to the death penalty.”

In what ways do you plan to make college more affordable?

“I strongly support legislation that would allow borrowers to refinance student loans at much lower rates, make the first two years of community college tuition free and ensure Pell Grants are increased. I’ve also introduced legislation that would help students and their families plan for higher education earlier in a student’s career by committing Pell Grants to eligible eighth-graders. I strongly believe that it is way past time for every college student to be able to work hard and graduate debt-free!

I know that not everyone will go to a four-year college. That’s why I will continue working to make sure that all students in Michigan can get the skills they need to get ahead no matter what path they choose.”

What would you do differently for our state compared to what is being done now?

“I strongly oppose the Federal Communication Commission’s repeal of net neutrality protections and am working to keep the internet open and free. I oppose this Administration’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations that protect our air and drinking water and to eliminate funding to protect our Great Lakes and waterways. I am also strongly opposed to efforts [that] gut health coverage for millions of Americans, including coverage for pre-existing conditions and coverage for young people under age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance.”

Do you believe term limits should be enforced? Why or why not?

“We have term limits. They’re called elections. On Election Day, it doesn’t matter how much money you have or what title you hold. Every person has one vote. For our American democracy to work, we each need to exercise our right to vote and then stay engaged with our elected officials and hold them accountable.”

How do you want to help people with little to no access to healthcare?

“Health care is a basic human right, and it should be America’s goal that everyone has the health care they need. I am leading efforts to stop Republicans from taking away people’s health care and gutting protections for pre-existing conditions. We need to focus on expanding health care coverage, including mental health services, and lowering costs the right way, which means focusing on prescription drug prices.

Recently, I had a major victory taking on the prescription drug lobby. The Senate unanimously passed my bipartisan Know the Lowest Price Act, which cracks down on gag clauses that force customers to pay more for their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter. The bill now heads to the President’ desk for his signature.

The opioid epidemic is claiming too many lives in Michigan and it keeps getting worse. I helped lead the successful effort to add $3.3 billion to this year’s budget for treatment and training. Additionally, I helped increase investments for initiatives used to expand opioid treatment resources in rural areas, securing $2.9 billion community facilities and $29 million for telemedicine projects. I’ve also been pushing the Trump Administration to follow their own Opioid Commission’s recommendation to immediately negotiate a lower price for naloxone. This life-saving drug that is used to reverse opioid overdoses has been around for more than 45 years and could be purchased for $1 in 2005. As the need for naloxone has gone up, so has the price. Companies are taking advantage of the pain, suffering, and the loss of life caused by overdoses in order to turn a profit.

Finally, last year, I led the successful efforts to continue funding for community health centers and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. I will also keep fighting to protect Planned Parenthood funding for women’s health care and preserving reproductive choices.”

How will your political views affect students entering and graduating from college in Michigan?

“My top priority is continuing to help businesses create jobs across our state that will create more opportunities for students graduating from college. I am laser-focused on growing a diverse economy that includes manufacturing, technology, small business, agriculture and tourism. That includes a focus on education and skilled trades and, of course, protecting our Great Lakes. When students graduate from college, I want them to be able to stay here and get a good paying job, buy a house and raise a family right here in Michigan.”

 

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Michigan’s Ballot Proposals 

Proposal 18-1: Recreational Marijuana

Photo courtesy of — https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=251466

The five-page proposal legalizes marijuana for recreational use. Many of the regulations in the proposal are similar to Michigan’s alcohol laws. Here is what you need to know about Proposal 1 for Recreational Marijuana:

  • Individuals over the age of 21 would be able to possess a maximum of 2.5 ounces of marijuana and a maximum of 15 grams of concentrate.  Additionally, individuals would be able to possess a maximum of 10 ounces of marijuana in their homes and have 12 plants for personal use.
  • Smoking marijuana in any vehicle on public roads, waterway or airspace would be illegal.
  • Workplaces have the right to fire and not hire marijuana users.
  • A property owner has the right to ban the use of marijuana on their property. Municipalities may permit designated areas for marijuana use. Marijuana may not be consumed in public.
  • The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will regulate and oversee the marijuana industry. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will have up to 12 months to organize the application process. This means applications may not be accepted for 12 months from the bill passing.
  • Licenses are required for individuals who wish to sell, distribute, transport, process or grow marijuana. Three types of licenses will be distributed: Class A (100 or fewer plants), Class B (maximum of 500 plants), and Class C (maximum of 2,000 plants).
  • Edibles must be distinguishable and not shaped like candy that could be tempting to a child. Additionally, they must be sold in child-proof packaging.
  • Municipalities have the right to prohibit or limit marijuana-related businesses within their district limits. Citizens may grow and possess marijuana for personal use regardless of the regulations determined by individual municipalities.
  • Citizens may create a petition and vote on the number of marijuana facilities that will be permitted within their community. This will allow community members to override their elected officials’ vote.
  • Marijuana and edibles will be taxed 10% and the profits will benefit implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

Information was gathered from the five-page proposal and the following news publications: What you should know about the Proposal to legalize marijuana in Michigan, A complete guide to Michigan’s 3 ballot proposals, Michigan Proposal 1, Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2018)

 

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Proposal 2: Citizen Commission to Redraw Congressional Districts

Photo Courtesy of – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32873278

Proposal 2 transfers the power of redistricting from state legislatures to an independent redistricting commission. The Michigan State Legislature is currently responsible for drawing the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative boundaries every 10 years. Once the lines are drawn, the governor has the power to approve or veto the new boundaries. Additionally, the State Senate and the State House needs to approve the new boundaries.

Proposal 2 seeks to change that. Here is what you need to know:

  • The Secretary of State will randomly select 13 registered voters to create the new district boundaries. Four must identify with the Republican Party, four must identify with the Democratic Party and five must be independent voters. Additionally, people may not serve on the redistricting committee if they currently hold a political office, are a candidate for office, work for a political office, have close relatives that are directly affiliated with a party or if they are a lobbyist.
  • There will be strict regulations that the redistricting committee must follow. These regulations include that districts have equal populations, the districts will reflect Michigan’s different populations and no district will provide an advantage to a specific political party or candidate.
  • The committee will have a budget and the committee members will be compensated for their work.
  • In order for a new redistricting plan to be approved a total of seven members from the committee have to vote to approve the plan. Additionally, it is required that two are Democrats, two are Republicans and two must be members not affiliated with a major party.

Information was gathered from the proposal and the following news publication: Michigan Proposal 2, Independent Redistricting Commission Initiative (2018)

 

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Proposal 3: Voting Policies

Proposal 3 creates new voting policies, including straight-ticket voting, automatic voters registration, same day voters registration and no excuse absentee voting 40 days prior to the election. Here is what you need to know:

  • Michigan law currently requires eligible voters to register 30 days prior to the election. Proposal 3 would change the 30-day requirement to 15 days prior to an election.
  • Michigan currently has a statue that requires military and overseas voters to receive an absentee ballot at least 45 days before the election. Proposal 3 will add this statue to the Michigan Constitution.
  • Proposal 3 would create automatic voter’ registration. It will automatically register individuals to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or state-issued personal identification card. An individual would be able to decline automatic registration.
  • Voters will no longer have to provide a reason for an absentee ballot
  • Voters will be able to make one mark on their ballot to vote for an entire political party on their ticket. This is called straight ticket voting. Individuals are currently permitted to vote for a single party but are required to fill in each bubble individually.

Information was gathered from the proposal and the following news publications: Michigan Proposal 3, Voting Policies in State Constitution Initiative (2018)

 

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About Morgan Garmo 23 Articles
Morgan is a Senior student from West Bloomfield, Michigan, majoring in Finance and Professional Writing. She works with a variety of non-profit and political organizations. She is currently the Director of Strategic Planning for a non-profit called Fleece & Thank You, which provides pediatric inpatients with no-sew fleece blankets. She is on the strategy team for the non-profit Give Young, who strives to help the millennial generation learn about different non-profits. Morgan is also a yoga teacher and a supporter of John James for US Senate.

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