LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court has reversed a Court of Appeals ruling and called for a casino proposal to be put on the November ballot.
The proposal seeks voter approval of a constitutional amendment that would allow for eight new casinos in the state.
The court on Friday overturned a decision that had barred the secretary of state from putting the question on the fall ballot. The justices unanimously said the appeals court applied the wrong law.
“This is one of those ‘wow’ stories that’s gonna set off a bitter battle between the casinos in Detroit and tribal casinos and the organizers of this petition drive,” said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick.
Citizens for More Michigan Jobs turned in 509,777 petition signatures to the Bureau of Elections seeking a constitutional amendment proposal that would allow for a fourth casino in Detroit and seven at other sites including Clinton Township, Pontiac and Romulus.
The committee’s spokesperson said the new casinos would help boost the local economy, creating an estimated 16,000 new jobs.
A lawsuit by another group, Protect MI Vote, said the ballot question is illegal because it would change the Michigan Constitution and state law.
Opponents of casino expansion include American Indian tribes and current casino owners. Others speaking out against the plan said our state has enough casinos, and struggling residents have better things to do with their money.
Others have said the ballot proposal is confusing and voters wouldn’t really know what they are voting on.
It was not immediately clear whether the decision guarantees placement on the fall ballot or whether opponents could try to stop it in other ways.
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