Two proposals to amend the Michigan Constitution were placed on the November 6, 1984 ballot by the legislature. Proposal A would provide for review by the legislature of administrative rules. This would assure the constitutionality of the current procedure, but raises questions concerning the separation of powers. Proposal B would create a Natural Resources Trust Fund that would receive certain mineral revenues and distribute those revenues for the preservation of scenic and environmentally-threatened land and development of recreational facilities. However, the wording of the amendment may preclude spending a major portion of the savings for the intended purpose.
PROPOSAL A: LEGISLATIVE REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATIVE RULES
Proposal A would amend Section 37 of Article IV of the Michigan Constitution to permit the legislature or a joint committee thereof to approve or disapprove, in the manner provided by law, any rule proposed by an administrative agency. Proposal A has been placed on the ballot to cure questions of unconstitutionality concerning the present legislative role in administrative rule making.
PROPOSAL B: ESTABLISHMENT OF A MICHIGAN NATURAL RESOURCES TRUST FUND
Proposal B would add a Section 35 to Article IX of the Michigan Constitution. If adopted, the proposal would give constitutional status to a Natural Resources Trust Fund and restrict the uses to which the revenues of the fund could be put. The fund is to consist of revenues derived from leases for the “extraction of nonrenewable resources from state owned lands” except from lands acquired under state or federal game and fish protection funds. The fund would, therefore, be essentially a continuation of the existing Recreational Land Acquisition (“Kammer”) Trust Fund, which has been the subject of several controversial diversions since its inception in 1976. The proposal would, however, also permit the legislature to continue the diversion of mineral lease revenues to the Michigan Economic Development Authority. Present law provides for the diversion over a 50-year period of nearly $1 billion of mineral revenues to the Economic Development Authority (MEDA).