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Proposals & Propositions

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No on A & C How badly are our schools hurtlng for money? It depends on the district, but with federal funds for educatlon cut and many locales devastated by the exodus of industrial tax base, lots of Michigan school districts are cash-starved. How badly are taxpay ers hurting for money? That depends on the individual, but as Michigan's economy slowly slides toward the Third World levéis that will make us "competitive" with places like Mexico and Thailand, many of us simply can't afford more taxes. The pain is unevenly distributed among Michigan's school districts because school funding is largely based upon local property taxes. This makes for gross inequities between what is spent to edúcate kids in rich suburbs and the money available to inner city and rural schools. These are the basic problems of Michigan's school flnancing and taxation system. Governor Engler, whose proposal C is on the ballot, and the legislature, which put proposal A before the voters, are unwilling or unable to face the grim realities. Proposal C would gradually cut school property taxes, starting by 10% nextyear up to 30% in 1997, for homes and businesses. The major funding cut to public schools embodied in proposal C would be made up by the state - so it is promised - but we are not told exactly how. Increases in annual tax assessments would be capped at 3% until a property is sold. Proposal A would allow only a 5% annual increase in homestead property assessments. Although its ballot text uses the word "rollback" twice, that only refers to changes in the way that millages and assessments are calculated, not necessarily a reduction in tax bilis to be paid. Predictably, corpora tions which have largely caused Michigan's financial woes- and stand to get big tax savings - are touting proposal C as the latest business incentive that will save us. Teachers' unions oppose both proposals. If both pass, conflicts between the two proposals (as, ior example, the maximum rate of assessment increase) would be resolved by the proposal with the highest number of votes prevailing. Unless you are very rich or are the sort of person who enjoys being trickled upon, you ought to be offended by proposal C. If you thought that the Democrats and more moderate Republicans in the legislature offer any realistic alternative to our society's pressing economie problems, proposal A ought to shatter those illusions. If maintalning a public school system is important to you, vote no on both A and C. Tes on B This would limit the number of terms that somebody could serve in the state legislature, in the U.S. House or Senate, or as governor. The provisions affecting federal offices may viólate the U.S. Constitution by purporting to impose new qualifications for U.S. Senators and Representatives. Critics attack term limits as undemocratic restrictions on whom the voters can elect. Despite those qualms, we think that the entrenched politician class, fortified by huge re-election campaign war chests paid for by the lobbyists whose bidding they do, needs to be broken up. Term limitation isn't the whole answer, or even the biggest part of the answer. Getting special interest money out of political campaigns would be a more meaningful reform. Yet we think that eliminating the prospect of lifetime employment for those who brought us lots of smoke and mirrors and little of substance would be a step forward. Not only that. Good people do sometimes get elected, yet we are convinced that staying too long in any office is harmful to such individuals. Good leaders are rare, but they are also human. An occasional change of occupation is a good precaution against bumout No on D As we have previously editorialized, this is an insurance company scam to shift the cost of medical care for catastrophic injuries from insurance companies to the taxpayers. Any savings in car insurance bilis are likely to be small and temporary. AAA's campaign for this has degenerated into an ugly spectacle of insurance companies and the lawyers who represent them bashing lawyers who represent injured people. Proposal D isn't antilawyer, it's anti-crash victim. Yes on the SAFE House Bond Issue Do you know terror? We're not using the word in the sense that George Bush and the corporate media use it- we're not talking about political violence against the United States and its allies. We're talking about a child whose instinct is to scream, but whose vocal chords are frozenby fear. We're talking aboutawoman who puts up with bruises and belittling because the prospect of destitution seems worse to her. We're talking about the violence that goes on in far too many homes every day. SAFE House is the only refuge that many women and children have from this terror. It's where battered women and children are given shelter from dmestic violence. Unfortunately, it is overcrowded and falling apart. Because there is no fenced or otherwise protected play yard, children who play there are vulnerable to being snatched by men who would use them as pawns to force their mothers back into servitude. Women who stay there are far from bus routes to the jobs which can give them the financial independence to stand up to abuse. We need a new SAFE House, and this onetime bond issue, costing an average family about $1 per month over two years, is needed to finance it. If all of the other ballot proposals and candidates leaveyoucold, the SAFE House proposal alone makes it worthwhile to vote on Nov. 3. If you know terror, you probably don't need to be convinced. If you are lucky enough not to know terror, please understand. Tes on WCC Millage and Bond Washtenaw Community College is the principal route to well-paying skilled jobs for many working people in this county. Whether it's an 18-year-old fresh out of Ypsilanti High who wants to be an auto mechanic or a nurse, or it's a 45-year-old Willow Run worker who needs skills for a new job, WCC is a necessity. Thus it is and has been our county's fastest-growing ' institution of higher education. It needs money to expand its operations, and to build the facilities to house those operations. This would be money well spent Proposal A I Proposal B I Proposal C I Proposal D I safe house I W.C.C. w.c.c. v.l.N.E. YES NO YES NO YES NO YES NO YES NO YES NO YES NO YES NO ( below)


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