Critics are urging Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to veto a bill that would prohibit local governments from spending money to inform the public about ballot proposals within 60 days of an election.
There already are restrictions on local governments using persuasive language ahead of a millage vote. But the Michigan Association of Counties said voters have a right to know the reasons why something is on a local ballot.
"You're allowed to have your own personal views, but in those 60 days before an election, you're telling these officials they can't even respond on their computer or phone to a question from a constituent," Chris Hackbarth of the Michigan Municipal League told the Detroit Free Press.
"There's a whole free speech concern there," he said.
The bill bars governments from using radio, television, mass mailing or telephone messages to make a reference to a local ballot question. Hackbarth said community newsletters or neutral election day reminders could be prohibited.
There was no public hearing. The section is part of a larger bill, Senate Bill 571, about campaign finance.
Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, said the bill's contents have been discussed for a long time and any additions made Wednesday night as the Legislature was leaving town are minor.
Snyder spokesman Dave Murray said the governor will give the bill a "thorough review."