Senate seeks Supreme Court opinion

LANSING—Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, today announced the Senate will act to seek an opinion from the Michigan Supreme Court regarding changes to the Earned Sick Time Act and the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act.

“Michigan families are counting on certainty in our state laws, especially when it comes to pay and benefits.  Tomorrow, the Senate will adopt a resolution to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to review and settle constitutional questions raised regarding recent amendments to laws providing for earned sick time and the minimum wage.

The hardworking men and women of Michigan deserve better than elected officials inserting uncertainty into the law-making process in an effort to raise their own political profiles.  Our state laws impact the daily lives of every Michigander.  The Senate and House would rather take this constitutional question directly to the justices and see swift action than wait out a protracted legal dispute,” said Shirkey.

The resolution will be introduced and adopted by the full Senate on Wednesday, February 20, 2019.  The text of the resolution is below.


THIS RESOLUTION IS OFFERED TO COMPLY WITH ARTICLE III, SECTION 8 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN OF 1963

 

Senator                                                offered the following resolution:

                Senate Resolution No.

A resolution to request an opinion of the Supreme Court of the state of Michigan pursuant to Article III, Section 8 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963.

Whereas, On July 30, 2018, the Department of State submitted to the Michigan Legislature a legislative initiative petition, an initiation of legislation to enact the “Earned Sick Time Act,” for consideration under Article II, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963; and

Whereas, On August 27, 2018, the Department of State submitted to the Michigan Legislature a legislative initiative petition, an initiation of legislation to enact the “Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act,” for consideration under Article II, Section 9 of theConstitution of the State of Michigan of 1963; and

Whereas, On September 5, 2018, the Senate and House of Representatives adopted the legislative initiative petition to enact into law the “Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act,” which was subsequently assigned Public Act 337 of 2018, and will not take effect until March 29, 2019; and

Whereas, On September 5, 2018, the Senate and House of Representatives adopted the legislative initiative petition to enact into law the “Earned Sick Time Act,” which was subsequently assigned Public Act 338 of 2018, and will not take effect until March 29, 2019; and

Whereas, On November 8, 2018, Senate Bill No. 1171 was introduced to amend the “Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act” created under Public Act 337 of 2018; and

Whereas, On November 8, 2018, Senate Bill No. 1175 was introduced to amend the “Earned Sick Time Act” created under Public Act 338 of 2018; and

Whereas, Senate Bill No. 1171 and Senate Bill No. 1175 of the 2018 Regular Session of the Legislature were signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder on December 13, 2018, as Public Act 368 of 2018 and Public Act 369 of 2018, respectively, and will not take effect until March 29, 2019; and

Whereas, On February 13, 2019, a request for a formal opinion was submitted to the Attorney General regarding the constitutionality of Public Act 368 of 2018 and Public Act 369 of 2018, which amended legislative initiative petitions enacted by the Legislature during the same legislative session; and

Whereas, The Senate has determined that important questions of law exist with respect to the constitutionality of Public Act 368 of 2018 and Public Act 369 of 2018; and

Whereas, Article III, Section 8 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963 states:

Either house of the legislature or the governor may request the opinion of the supreme court on important questions of law upon solemn occasions as to the constitutionality of legislation after it has been enacted into law but before its effective date.

; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Senate, That the Senate requests the Supreme Court of the state of Michigan issue an opinion, pursuant to Article III, Section 8 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963, on the following important questions of law pertaining to Public Act 368 of 2018 and Public Act 369 of 2018:

  1. Does Article II, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963 permit the Legislature to enact an initiative petition into law and then subsequently amend that law during the same legislative session?
  2. Were Public Act 368 of 2018 and Public Act 369 of 2018 enacted in accordance with Article II, Section 9 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963?

; and be it further

Resolved, That the Senate Majority Leader is authorized to engage counsel in furtherance of this request for an opinion from the Supreme Court of the state of Michigan and take all necessary steps incidental thereto; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Supreme Court of the state of Michigan.