Skubick: Push is on to bury bill restricting millage election info window

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – A whole host of local government officials are urging the governor to veto a bill that they claim is anti-democratic and will hamper their efforts to raise money to fund local services.

The Michigan Municipal League presented an array of local officials who fear their ability to raise local revenue will be hampered by what the GOP legislature did late last year.

It passed a bill preventing those officials from saying anything about local millage elections 60 days before the vote.

Some Republicans contend local governments are breaking the law by advocating a yes vote and using tax dollars to do it.

But the mayor of Dearborn is in Lansing contending there is very little problem with that. “There is no evidence that there is any widespread problem on any issue that needed to be fixed,” claims Mayor Jack O’Reilly.

An Ingham County Commissioner contends anti-tax groups would get an unfair advantage if local officials can not talk to the voters about ballot plans. Rebecca Bahar-Cook says “It’s really a way to restrict government and make it smaller.” Bahar-Cook says this would be an advantage for anti-tax people and borders on muting her voice and being unconstitutional.

GOP backers of the “60 days ban” claim the governments can form campaign committees to promote a “Yes” vote but Terry Jungel of the Michigan Sheriff’s Association says the legislation amounts to a gag order on free speech. “I think it runs against the grain of what democracy is all about.” Jungel contends the bill would gag his association.

The governor is deciding whether to sign the bill.

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