The State Constitutional Convention Clearinghouse

 

U.S. states where the people can use a state constitutional convention to bypass the legislature's gatekeeping power over constitutional amendment

Michigan Constitutional Conventions

Constitutional Amendment

Color Code: Highlights in red; Majority requirements in bold.

Article XII
AMENDMENT AND REVISION

Section 1. Amendment by legislative proposal and vote of electors.

Amendments to this constitution may be proposed in the senate or house of representatives. Proposed amendments agreed to by two-thirds of the members elected to and serving in each house on a vote with the names and vote of those voting entered in the respective journals shall be submitted, not less than 60 days thereafter, to the electors at the next general election or special election as the legislature shall direct. If a majority of electors voting on a proposed amendment approve the same, it shall become part of the constitution and shall abrogate or amend existing provisions of the constitution at the end of 45 days after the date of the election at which it was approved.

 

Section 2. Amendment by petition and vote of electors.

Amendments may be proposed to this constitution by petition of the registered electors of this state. Every petition shall include the full text of the proposed amendment, and be signed by registered electors of the state equal in number to at least 10 percent of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor at the last preceding general election at which a governor was elected. Such petitions shall be filed with the person authorized by law to receive the same at least 120 days before the election at which the proposed amendment is to be voted upon. Any such petition shall be in the form, and shall be signed and circulated in such manner, as prescribed by law. The person authorized by law to receive such petition shall upon its receipt determine, as provided by law, the validity and sufficiency of the signatures on the petition, and make an official announcement thereof at least 60 days prior to the election at which the proposed amendment is to be voted upon.

Any amendment proposed by such petition shall be submitted, not less than 120 days after it was filed, to the electors at the next general election. Such proposed amendment, existing provisions of the constitution which would be altered or abrogated thereby, and the question as it shall appear on the ballot shall be published in full as provided by law. Copies of such publication shall be posted in each polling place and furnished to news media as provided by law.

The ballot to be used in such election shall contain a statement of the purpose of the proposed amendment, expressed in not more than 100 words, exclusive of caption. Such statement of purpose and caption shall be prepared by the person authorized by law, and shall consist of a true and impartial statement of the purpose of the amendment in such language as shall create no prejudice for or against the proposed amendment.

If the proposed amendment is approved by a majority of the electors voting on the question, it shall become part of the constitution, and shall abrogate or amend existing provisions of the constitution at the end of 45 days after the date of the election at which it was approved. If two or more amendments approved by the electors at the same election conflict, that amendment receiving the highest affirmative vote shall prevail.

 

Section 3. General revision of constitution; submission of question, convention delegates and meeting.

At the general election to be held in the year 1978, and in each 16th year thereafter and at such times as may be provided by law, the question of a general revision of the constitution shall be submitted to the electors of the state. If a majority of the electors voting on the question decide in favor of a convention for such purpose, at an election to be held not later than six months after the proposal was certified as approved, the electors of each representative district as then organized shall elect one delegate and the electors of each senatorial district as then organized shall elect one delegate at a partisan election. The delegates so elected shall convene at the seat of government on the first Tuesday in October next succeeding such election or at an earlier date if provided by law.

The convention shall choose its own officers, determine the rules of its proceedings and judge the qualifications, elections and returns of its members. To fill a vacancy in the office of any delegate, the governor shall appoint a qualified resident of the same district who shall be a member of the same party as the delegate vacating the office. The convention shall have power to appoint such officers, employees and assistants as it deems necessary and to fix their compensation; to provide for the printing and distribution of its documents, journals and proceedings; to explain and disseminate information about the proposed constitution and to complete the business of the convention in an orderly manner. Each delegate shall receive for his services compensation provided by law.

No proposed constitution or amendment adopted by such convention shall be submitted to the electors for approval as hereinafter provided unless by the assent of a majority of all the delegates elected to and serving in the convention, with the names and vote of those voting entered in the journal. Any proposed constitution or amendments adopted by such convention shall be submitted to the qualified electors in the manner and at the time provided by such convention not less than 90 days after final adjournment of the convention. Upon the approval of such constitution or amendments by a majority of the qualified electors voting thereon the constitution or amendments shall take effect as provided by the convention.

 

Article II
ELECTIONS

Section 9. Initiative and referendum; limitations; appropriations; petitions. [This section only covers the statutory initiative]

The people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and to enact and reject laws, called the initiative, and the power to approve or reject laws enacted by the legislature, called the referendum. The power of initiative extends only to laws which the legislature may enact under this constitution. The power of referendum does not extend to acts making appropriations for state institutions or to meet deficiencies in state funds and must be invoked in the manner prescribed by law within 90 days following the final adjournment of the legislative session at which the law was enacted. To invoke the initiative or referendum, petitions signed by a number of registered electors, not less than eight percent for initiative and five percent for referendum of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor at the last preceding general election at which a governor was elected shall be required.

No law as to which the power of referendum properly has been invoked shall be effective thereafter unless approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon at the next general election.

Any law proposed by initiative petition shall be either enacted or rejected by the legislature without change or amendment within 40 session days from the time such petition is received by the legislature. If any law proposed by such petition shall be enacted by the legislature it shall be subject to referendum, as hereinafter provided.

If the law so proposed is not enacted by the legislature within the 40 days, the state officer authorized by law shall submit such proposed law to the people for approval or rejection at the next general election. The legislature may reject any measure so proposed by initiative petition and propose a different measure upon the same subject by a yea and nay vote upon separate roll calls, and in such event both measures shall be submitted by such state officer to the electors for approval or rejection at the next general election.

Any law submitted to the people by either initiative or referendum petition and approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon at any election shall take effect 10 days after the date of the official declaration of the vote. No law initiated or adopted by the people shall be subject to the veto power of the governor, and no law adopted by the people at the polls under the initiative provisions of this section shall be amended or repealed, except by a vote of the electors unless otherwise provided in the initiative measure or by three-fourths of the members elected to and serving in each house of the legislature. Laws approved by the people under the referendum provision of this section may be amended by the legislature at any subsequent session thereof. If two or more measures approved by the electors at the same election conflict, that receiving the highest affirmative vote shall prevail.

The legislature shall implement the provisions of this section.

Article I
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS

Section 1.  Political power.

All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal benefit, security and protection.

Section 2.  Equal protection; discrimination.

No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of his civil or political rights or be discriminated against in the exercise thereof because of religion, race, color or national origin. The legislature shall implement this section by appropriate legislation.

Source: Michigan Constitution

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Popular (News) Sources

2026 Election Cycle

Lessenberry, Jack, It’s time for a new Michigan constitution, Michigan Radio, December 16, 2014.

2010 Election Cycle

To be added.

Academic Sources

Primary

Michigan Constitutional Conventions, Bentley Historical Museum at the University of Michigan.

Secondary

A Brief Michigan Constitutional History, Citizens Research Council of Michigan, February 2012.

A Brief Michigan Constitutional History, Citizens Research Council of Michigan, July 1994.

2010 News

News

Camarillo, Breanna, Groups Start Mobilizing on ConCon, Dome Magazine, April 16, 2009.

Lane, Amy, Pros and cons of state con-con, Crain’s Detroit Business, April 11, 2010.

Bouffard, Karen, Poll: Support may whither for ConCon, August 12, 2010.

Schmid, Greg, The Pros & Cons of Convening a Constitutional Convention in Michigan, Review, September 2, 2010.

Lake, Peter, Michigan voters face decision about the state constitution on Nov. 2: Should we go back to square one?, MLive.com, October 10, 2010

Alwood, Christine, GUEST COLUMN: What would constitutional convention mean?, Morning Sun, October 30, 2010.

Reports

A Citizen’s Guide to Michigan Campaign Finance–2010, Michigan Campaign Finance Network, 2011.  (See page 32).

 

2010 Videos

Jason Rzucidlo reports from inside the Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills for the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) 2010 Election Forum on candidates and issues. He will discuss Michigan’s Proposal One — whether or not to hold a Michigan Constitutional Convention to draft a general revision of the state constitution. The last time Michigan held a constitutional convention was back in 1963. However, it may cost up to $45 million to hold the special elections necessary and the convention itself.

 

Jun 11, 2010.  The Michigan Constitutional Convention Debate featuring John Logie vs. Richard Studley and moderated by Kevin Van Dalk.

Oct 3, 2010.  Jason Rzucidlo reports from inside the Kensington Court hotel in Ann Arbor for the A2YChamber’s “Impact 2010” conference. Watch for remarks from the panelists of the Michigan Constitutional Convention Ballott Proposal Discussion. You’ll hear from Dianne Byrum, a partner of Byrum & Fisk Advocacy, Tom George M.D., a State Senator from the 20th District, Robert S. LaBrant, senior vice president of political affairs and general counsel at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and John Logie, counsel at Warner Norcross & Judd. The moderator was John Bebow, exective director of The Center for Michigan.

Oct 21, 2010.  The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies presents, former mayor of Grand Rapids John Logie and Michigan Chamber of Commerce Bob LaBrant debate a constitutional convention Michigan.

1963 ConCon

Michigan State Senator Tom George discusses the Constitutional Convention of 1963 with Constitutional Convention Delegate Eugene Wanger (This was produced in the context of the 2010 constiutional convention referendum.)