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What's on my ballot? A look at the Michigan Civil Service Employee Legislative Communication Amendment

Posted at 5:15 PM, Sep 02, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — The general election is fast approaching and just which proposals will be on the ballot is still up in the air, but it’s important to know what you’re voting for if these initiatives make it on the November ballot.

We’re going to take a look at all the proposals listed, but for now, let’s take a look at the Michigan Civil Service Employee Legislative Communication Amendment.

“It would protect both civil service employees and state government, whether you work for the Department of Treasury, the Department of Human Services or any of the other various state agencies and departments," said State Sen. Tom Barrett (R-Potterville).

Barrett introduced legislation that would do the same thing in the state legislature. Normally, he said these protections are agreed upon and passed in the budget each year, but in recent years, it hasn’t received enough support. The goal of the legislation is to allow state workers to communicate with lawmakers without the fear of reprisal.

“So if there's an improvement to a process within their scope of work that they think is important, or if they uncover something that they think is problematic or just an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars, they should be able to communicate that with state lawmakers," he said.

Michigan already has protections on the books for whistle blowers when it comes to sounding the alarm over things that are potentially illegal. This move just protects workers from internal consequences if say a worker talks with a lawmaker about an issue that needs to be addressed within their department.

“If you simply are someone who has a rightful concern with something going on in your agency or department, I feel strongly, and so do my all of my colleagues in the Michigan Senate, that you ought to be able to bring that forward to state lawmakers without fear of reprisal or retaliation," Barrett said.

FOX 47 reached out to the Gov. Whitmer's office to learn more about why she vetoed the legislation in the past, but we did not hear back in time for publication.

We’ll follow along as ballot proposals are officially approved and let you know what your ballot will look like in the coming months.

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