LANSING — State Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing) today introduced House Bill 5221. This bill repeals the section of law in the recently signed Senate Bill 571 that prohibits public entities from sharing information with citizens on local ballot proposals within 60 days of an election. With Rep. Schor’s legislation, voters would be able to stay informed about important matters on upcoming ballots.
“In the night in December, House Republican leadership added a last-minute provision to a benign bill that would prohibit schools and local governments from informing their residents about upcoming ballot proposals,” said Schor. “Since then, Democrats, Republicans and even the governor have called for changes in this newly-adopted law. We need to pass my bill and repeal this provision in the new law, then we can talk about whether locals are actually advocating or not in these educational communications.”
SB 571 became effective upon signature by the governor, and schools and locals are now prohibited from communicating with their public for the upcoming March election. Schor’s bill would repeal Section 57(3) of the recently-signed law (which was SB 571).
Schor said, “Lansing residents are two months away from an important election about the future of our schools. The Lansing Pathway Promise plan is a change that will affect the thousands of students in Lansing Schools, as well as their parents. There will be school infrastructure changes and updates, comprehensive academic options for Lansing students, and district-wide changes. The voters need to know this information, and they need to know how the millage they will be asked to pass will affect them and the children of our community. Voters may like this and may oppose this, but absolutely must be informed about what they are voting for or against.
“The new prohibition on sharing of information, signed by the governor last week, prevents the Lansing School District from sharing information with the Lansing parents, students, teachers, and public at large about the Lansing Pathway Promise,” said Schor. “And it does the same for all school districts and communities throughout the state. My bill needs to be passed immediately so that Lansing, and all other communities, can inform the voters about what they will be seeing at the ballot and the impacts on the community It is imperative that schools, libraries, local governments and other entities have every available asset at their disposal to educate and inform voters before they make a decision on Election Day that has ramifications for years to come. My bill ensures that will happen.”