CHICAGO — The Michigan Supreme Court Wednesday afternoon ruled that three out of four controversial referendum proposals can appear on the November ballot, ending months of legal wrangling over the measures.
The court ordered that a referendum requiring a vote on a $4 billion, largely bond-financed international trade bridge to Canada should appear on the ballot. That marks a setback for Gov. Rick Snyder and other powerful supporters of what would be one of the country’s largest public-private partnerships.
Also appearing on the ballot will be a referendum to make collective bargaining rights part of the state constitution, another question opposed by Snyder and state Attorney General Bill Schuette, who argued that the referendum would change too many state laws to be understood in the 100-word ballot language.
The court also ruled that a measure calling for a two-thirds supermajority vote for the Legislature to pass any tax increases should be on the ballot.
A proposal authorizing eight new casinos across Michigan will not appear on the ballot.
The court, which heard oral arguments on the four proposals last week, had previously approved a referendum to repeal the state’s emergency management law for fiscally stressed municipalities.
It will be one of the most crowded ballots in recent history and many of the measures could have long-term impacts on Michigan’s future.
The Board of State Canvassers, which has deadlocked on many of the referendums, will meet Friday to finalize the ballot.