People with clipboards are prowling streets across Michigan these days. They’re on the hunt for signatures for ballot initiatives. The campaigns are also collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for their efforts.
There are six active campaigns, and they range from one aiming to legalize recreational marijuana, to one that could make the state legislature part time. Three have already raised more than $800,000, as documented by Craig Mauger – executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.
“When you have to gather 200,000 or 300,000 signatures across the state, it takes often a large sum of money to do that,” Mauger says.
The campaigns that have raised the most money are the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the Clean MI Committee – which could make Michigan’s legislature part time– and Protecting Michigan Taxpayers – which would repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law.
The three other initiatives include one that would change how the state draws legislative districts, and one to require businesses to give sick leave to employees. Another campaign would stop Enbridge from sending crude oil through Line 5 – the pipeline that crosses under the Straits of Mackinac.