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Unions Say Prevailing Wage Repeal Still Falls Short Of Approval

Unions Say Prevailing Wage Repeal Still Falls Short Of Approval

MIRS, 2/14/18

A union-backed group has again challenged the signatures for the prevailing wage repeal initiative petition, this time saying the campaign is short the signatures it needs to be on the Nov. 6 ballot.

John PIRICH and Andrea HANSEN, legal counsel of Protect Michigan Jobs (PMJ), filed the challenge to the Protecting Michigan Taxpayers (PMT) petition.

This challenge pertained to the second, enlarged sample made available by the Secretary of State (SOS) after a first signature sample landed in gray zone (See “SOS Widening Net On Prevailing Wage Repeal Signatures,” 1/9/18).

PMJ had challenged PMT’s filing already, and concluded the petition fell short on signatures. Later, the SOS determined the petition couldn’t be rejected or recommended for approval, and instead recommended the sample be enlarged for further review (See “Challenge To Prevailing Wage Repeal Again Says They’re Short Sigs,” 12/28/17).

In this second sample, 3,908 additional signatures were released, according to the PMJ filing, for a total of 4,443 signatures. The number to be proven valid was 2,954 or more.

The PMJ review of signatures concluded they’d challenge the validity of 1,850 of those signatures, which include 173 signatures from the initial sample the SOS pulled.

By removing those challenged signatures, PMJ would put the number of valid signatures left on the prevailing wage repeal petition at 2,593, or 361 signatures short.

Today marked the last day challenges could be filed against the PMT petition. The SOS has not yet released its own analysis of the second signature sample for PMT.

The head of PMT has previously said the second sample would continue to show the group collected more than enough valid signatures (See “Canvassers OK Expanded Review Of Prevailing Wage Repeal Signatures,” 1/30/18).

Yet, the Michigan Laborers Union said in a statement this evening “The sheer number of invalid signatures submitted by Protecting Michigan Taxpayers makes it no surprise that the organization fought so hard last month to avoid a larger sample.”

The Operating Engineers 324 said in a statement “We encourage the Bureau of Elections to scrutinize the challenged signatures and throw this proposal in the trash where it belongs.”