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2018 – An Important election for small business

November 2, 2018

By Micah Babcock, Grassroots Coordinator & Policy Advisor

The General election is finally upon us and it is obvious that 2018 is shaping up to be a very competitive mid-term election here in Michigan.

One of the many takeaways from the primaries is that voters are paying attention and are showing up to the polls. While the Democratic turnout was higher, the Republican turnout was also strong.  Michigan’s residents and Small Business Owners will be faced with critical decisions on a multitude of levels:  Governor, U.S. Senate, Attorney General, and Secretary of State, Michigan Supreme Court, U.S. House of Representatives, Michigan State Senate and Michigan House of Representatives.  For those who are interested, SBAM does make endorsements in a number of these races. Click here to view.

The reality though is that some of the most critical issues will not be candidates, but ballot issues we will need to consider. Three proposals have been officially placed on the November ballot: Voters Not Politicians (changes the redistricting process), legalization of recreational marijuana, and Promote the Vote (changes to voter registration). Two other proposals, One Fair Wage (minimum wage increased to $12/hour) and MI Time to Care (mandatory paid leave), have recently been passed by the state legislature. These proposals are some of the most egregious in the country, and we are working to make sure that the small business voice is heard and important changes are made to these policies to make them less burdensome. If you are not already, be sure to become a member of SBAM’s Grassroots Network so that you are notified when these proposals are up for amendment so your voice can be heard by your legislators!

Please see below for summaries of the three proposals that you will be voting on this November! Please note, SBAM does not have a position on the proposals below.

Legalization of Marijuana – Proposal 1

This ballot initiative looks to end marijuana prohibition in Michigan and look to put in place a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed like alcohol. Under the proposal persons 21 and older are allowed possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and growth of up to 12 plants. Municipalities are allowed to adopt ordinances to restrict the usage and advertising of marijuana and marijuana retailers as well as regulate time, place, and manner of operations of marijuana establishments. Along with other taxes, an exise tax will be imposed at a rate of 10% on the sale price. These taxes will go toward implementation, administration, and enforcement of the act and all unexpended balances will be allocated as follows:

  • 15% to municipalities with marijuana retailers
  • 15% to counties with marijuana retailers

  • 35% to the School Aid Fund

  • 35% to the Michigan Transportation Fund to be used for repair and maintenance of roads and bridges


Voters Not Politicians – Proposal 2

This ballot initiative looks to end the current legislative role in redistricting before 2021 when the next election maps are redrawn. If passed, this would amend Michigan’s constitution to put in place an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to choose district lines, not partisan politicians. This commission would consist of 13 Michigan voters whom the Secretary of State randomly selects from the group that applies. The breakdown of the group would be four Republicans, four Democrats, and five independent voters with no party affiliation.

Promote the Vote – Proposal 3

This proposal aims to implement new voting reforms including no-reason absentee voting, the preservation of straight-ticket voting, allowing for voter registration by mail up to 15 days before an election, automatic voter registration, and providing for election audits among others.

With the Governor’s race and three separate proposals on the ballot, this November will be a critical election for businesses across our state. If you would like more information, or want to keep up on these issues, please click here or contact me at

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