Court schedules arguments on ballot initiatives

The Michigan Supreme Court announced that oral arguments in one case will be heard Wednesday, July 17.

The court will convene to hear the case at 9:30 a.m. in the sixth floor of the Hall of Justice, 925 W. Ottawa Street in Lansing.

In announcing the arguments, the court issued a brief account of the case that it said “may not reflect the way that some or all of the court’s seven justices view the case.

“The attorneys may also disagree about the facts, issues, procedural history, and significance of this case.”

The matter involves two ballot initiatives — one pertaining to the minimum wage (the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act) and one pertaining to paid sick leave (the Earned Sick Time Act),

Last September, the initiatives garnered enough petition signatures to qualify for placement on the Nov. 6, 2018, general election ballot.

The initiative petitions first were submitted to the Legislature for adoption or rejection and both houses of the Legislature adopted the initiatives and enacted them into law.

Therefore, the initiatives were not on the ballot. Thereafter, the Legislature made substantive revisions and then-Gov. Rick Snyder signed the acts into law and they took effect last March 29.

The state House and Senate have separately requested an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court on whether the Michigan Constitution gives the Legislature  authority to enact an initiative petition into law and then amend the law during the same legislative session.