Approved by Board of Directors, September 14, 2010
The Michigan Chamber of Commerce supports Proposal 10-2 (Proposal 2) which would make a person ineligible for election or appointment to state or local elective office and to hold public employment under certain circumstances, if within the past 20 years the person had been convicted of particular work-related felonies.
Article XI of the State of Michigan Constitution concerns “Public Officers and Employment.” The article has seven sections that specify some of the qualifications and conditions for holding public office or working as a public servant in Michigan. Among other things, Article XI addresses the oath of office that public officials swear, impeachment from office, merit-based civil service systems of employment and serving as a custodian of public money.
This prohibition, currently applicable only to state legislators, would be extended to all elected and appointed officials – including for example, mayors and school district accountants. The Proposal was drafted specifically to prohibit convicted felons who have previously violated the public trust from holding elective or appointed office in all levels of local and state government.
Proposal 2 was introduced to help ensure the preservation of the public trust by prohibiting felons from holding elective office or being hired for public employment, if they have been convicted of a felony involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a breach of the public trust in the past 20 years, and if that conviction was related to the person’s official capacity while holding any elected office or position of employment in the local, state or federal government.
Proposal 2 was approved by two-thirds of the members elected and serving in both the House and Senate (Joint Senate Resolution V) and is submitted to the voters at the November 2, 2010 general election.
Proposal 2 would amend the State Constitution to specify that a person would be ineligible (1) for election or appointment to any state or local elective office in Michigan and (2) to hold a position in public employment in Michigan that was policy making or that had discretionary authority over public assets, if, within the immediately preceding 20 years, (1) he or she had been convicted of a felony involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud, or a breach of the public trust, and (2) the conviction was related to the person’s official capacity while holding any elected office or position of employment in local, state or federal government.
This requirement would be in addition to any other qualification required under the constitution or by law.
Proposal 2 would add a new Section 8 to Article XI of the State Constitution. That article deals with “public officers and employment.” The joint resolution specifies that the Legislature must “prescribe by law for the implementation of this section.”
For your information, we have attached a copy of the official ballot proposal language for Proposal 10-2, as approved by the State Board of Canvassers, and analyses of the proposal by the non-partisan Senate Fiscal Agency and House Fiscal Agency. Staff recommends to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors that the Michigan Chamber support this proposal.