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Finally, I can once again say: Great news from Michigan!

From MIRS (subscription-only):

A union-backed effort to lock collective bargaining rights for public  and private employees into the state constitution is one step closer to  being on the Nov. ballot. Organizers today turned in around 684,000  signatures, more than twice the 322,000 valid signatures needed.

The Protect Our Jobs Coalition turned in more than 130 boxes to the Secretary of State just moments ago.

 ...

The ballot  proposal kills any future talk of a Right to Work proposal and rolls  back any limitation on collective bargaining that the Republican-led  legislature passed for Gov. Rick SNYDER's signature in the past 17 months.

 If passed, the proposed constitutional amendment also likely puts a  stake through the heart of P.A. 4 of 2011, which allows a  gubernatorial-appointed emergency manager to alter or repeal a union  contract.
An excerpt of the amendment text is below.

The amendment says, in part:

(1) The people shall have the rights to organize together to form, join or assist labor organizations, and to bargain collectively with a public or private employer through an exclusive representative of the employees' choosing, to the fullest extent not preempted by the laws of the United States.

(2) As used in subsection (1), to bargain collectively is to perform the mutual obligation of the employer and the exclusive representative of the employees to negotiate in good faith regarding wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and to execute and comply with any agreement reached; but this obligation does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or make a concession.

(3) No existing or future law of the State or its political subdivisions shall abridge, impair or limit the foregoing rights; provided that the State may prohibit or restrict strikes by employees of the State and its political subdivisions. The legislature's exercise of its power to enact laws relative to the hours and conditions of employment shall not abridge, impair or limit the right to collectively bargain for wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment that exceed minimum levels established by the legislature.

(4) No existing or future law of the State or its political subdivisions shall impair, restrict or limit the negotiation and enforcement of any collectively bargained agreement with a public or private employer respecting financial support by employees of their collective bargaining representative according to the terms of that agreement.

Congratulations to the entire We Are the People/Protect Our Jobs team for getting us to this point. We have 146 days until the November election, but we have the momentum.

On to November!

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