Michigan, USA, regional Agenda (setting) initiative [PAX] - Initiative

General Typology

Agenda (setting) initiative [PAX]
Michigan, USA
Political level
Local Name:
Normative Level:
Legally Binding:
Legally Defined:

Michigan Constitution, Article II, Section 9
The people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and to enact and reject laws, called the initiative [...]. The power of initiative extends only to laws which the legislature may enact under this constitution. [...] To invoke the initiative or referendum, petitions signed by a number of registered electors, not less than eight percent for initiative [...] of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor at the last preceding general election at which a governor was elected shall be required. [...] Any law proposed by initiative petition shall be either enacted or rejected by the legislature without change or amendment within 40 session days from the time such petition is received by the legislature. [...] If the law so proposed is not enacted by the legislature within the 40 days, the state officer authorized by law shall submit such proposed law to the people for approval or rejection at the next general election. [...] Any law submitted to the people by either initiative or referendum petition and approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon at any election shall take effect 10 days after the date of the official declaration of the vote. No law initiated or adopted by the people shall be subject to the veto power of the governor, and no law adopted by the people at the polls under the initiative provisions of this section shall be amended or repealed, except by a vote of the electors unless otherwise provided in the initiative measure or by three-fourths of the members elected to and serving in each house of the legislature.

Source: Constitution of Michigan of 1963 (accessed 3 Juli 2017)

Subject Matter:

Submitting laws to legislative approval or ballot question via initiative


Electorate : Requires 8% of the number of votes cast for governor at the last gubernatorial election before going to the legislature
Decision maker:
Legislature : Initiative becomes law if passed unchanged by legislature and subject to popular vote if not passed. -- For the instrument concerning the effects of a legislative veto, see Michigan LOR: Completion of Initiative


Number Of Signatures:
8% of the total number of voters in the last gubernatorial election
Available Time:
180 days to collect signatures and must be filed at least 160 days before the election and 10 days before a session of legislature (Michigan Compiled Laws 168.471 - 168.472a)
Geographical Quorum:
Legal source does not mention geographical quorum
Excluded Issues:

Only laws that the legislature is allowed to pass may be initiated.

Source: Constitution of Michigan of 1963, Article II, Section 9 (accessed 3 Juli 2017)

Other Formal Requirements:

Must be filed at least 160 days before the election and 10 days before a session of legislature; signatures older than 180 days or collected before a November election at which a governor was elected are considered void (Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 168 (Act 116), 168.471 - 168.472a, 168.473b).

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
Specify Collection Mode:

Compiled Laws, Chapter 168 (Act 116), 168.482
(1) Each petition under this section shall be 8-1/2 inches by 14 inches in size.
(2) If the measure to be submitted proposes a constitutional amendment, initiation of legislation, or referendum of legislation, the heading of each part of the petition shall be prepared in the following form and printed in capital letters in 14-point boldfaced type:
(4) The following statement shall appear beneath the petition heading:
"We, the undersigned qualified and registered electors,
residents in the
township (strike 1) of .......... in the county of ..........,
state of Michigan, respectively petition for (amendment to
constitution) (initiation of legislation) (referendum of
legislation) (other appropriate description).".
(5) The following warning shall be printed in 12-point type immediately above the place for signatures, on each part of the petition:
A person who knowingly signs this petition more than once, signs a name other than his or her own, signs when not a qualified and registered elector, or sets opposite his or her signature on a petition, a date other than the actual date the signature was affixed, is violating the provisions of the Michigan election law.

Source: Michigan Compiled Laws (accessed 3 Juli 2017)

Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:

Compiled Laws, Chapter 168 (Act 116), 168.477
If the board of state canvassers declares that the petition is sufficient, the secretary of state shall send copies of the statement of purpose of the proposal as approved by the board of state canvassers to the several daily and weekly newspapers published in this state, with the request that the newspapers give as wide publicity as possible to the proposed amendment or other question. Publication of any matter by any newspaper under this section shall be without expense or cost to the state of Michigan.


Board of state canvassers will check for validity and sufficiency of signatures. Litigation against their decision occurs at the state supreme court (Compiled Laws, 168.476, 148.479)

Source: Michigan Compiled Laws (accessed 3 Juli 2017)

Transparency And Finance:



See Michigan LOR: Completion of Initiative