Ballot Proposal 6: Requiring voter approval for construction of international bridges and tunnels

Proposal 2012-06 would amend the Michigan Constitution to prohibit the construction or financing of any international bridge or tunnel without a statewide vote.

Canada is an important trade partner with Michigan, contributing both directly and indirectly to Michigan’s economy. In addition, other state’s economies depend on the Michigan-Canada crossings. The vast majority of this trade occurs at three bridge crossings: Ambassador Bridge (Detroit), Blue Water Bridge (Port Huron) and the International Bridge (Sault Ste. Marie) with the Ambassador and Blue Water bridges accounting for $200 billion in trade in 2008.

This proposal would amend Article III of the Michigan Constitution by adding Section 6a, requiring a statewide vote before any new international bridge or tunnel for motor vehicles can be financed or constructed.

This proposal is not asking if a new bridge between Detroit and Canada should be built. It is asking whether a procedure for approval by Michigan voters should be required for any future international bridges and/or tunnels.

Michigan State University Extension has prepared a bulletin that provides Michigan residents with non-partisan, objective information about all of the statewide ballot proposals. Download the free bulletin, GE49 “Statewide Ballot Proposals 2012” from the MSU Extension Bookstore.

This proposal:

  • Requires the approval of a majority of voters in a statewide election and in each municipality where a new bridge or tunnel for motor vehicles would be located before the state could use state funds or resources to acquire land, design, solicit bids, construct, finance, or promote a new international bridge or tunnel for motor vehicles
  • Defines a “new” international bridge or tunnel for motor vehicles as any bridge or tunnel opened for use after January 1, 2012.
  • Requires a petition with signatures of registered Michigan voters equal to 8 percent of the votes cast for all candidates for governor in the previous general election

A “Yes” vote would require a statewide vote for any new international bridge or tunnel.

A “No” vote would mean the legislature would retain the ability to approve any new international bridges and/or tunnels and allocate the appropriations to complete these projects.

For more information on this and the other proposals, read Michigan State University Extension’s bulletin, Statewide Ballot Proposals 2012, to learn more about the issue and supporting and opposing arguments for this and the other issues on the November ballot.

Additional information also can be obtained from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

You can also read more MSU Extension News articles on: Proposal 1, Proposal 2, Proposal 3, Proposal 4 and Proposal 5.

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