Panel to discuss Constitutional Convention

By Ali Armstrong

Henry Woloson, an attorney and counselor at law from Clarkston, will replace State Senator Tom George today in a panel discussion with Oakland University students about Michigan’s Constitutional Convention.

The discussion will be held at noon Wednesday in the Oakland Room of the Oakland Center.

The discussion will analyze Proposal One that will be on the upcoming Nov. 2 statewide ballot, which is a proposal to convene a constitutional convention for the purpose of drafting a general revision of the state constitution.

“There are other groups out there who are proponents of it, but Woloson is a guy who has been in the newspapers and as far as I can tell, it goes back to him as the guy who has been advocating it,” said associate professor and chair of the political science department David Dulio.

Along with Woloson, 14A District Court Judge Kirk Tabbey will speak at the event.

The panel will cover the Con-Con and look into the effects of the proposal. Students will be provided with information that will educate them on the upcoming election and issues.

“It’s not for or against one thing, it’s informational all around,” Dulio said. “It will cover what it is, why we have it and what the two sides are.”

Woloson, who is an advocate for the Con-Con, said if the proposal passes, “the state may save $50 million a year.”

Some of the issues that Woloson is an advocate for, in regards to saving state funds, includes addressing the alteration of the start date of the fiscal year from Oct. 1 to July 1 for tuition purposes.  Downsizing legislator body is also a topic that many are looking to change, Woloson said.

If proposal one is approved, delegates for Michigan’s constitutional convention would be elected and in 18 months, citizens would then vote on the drafted constitution. Once delegates have reached a conclusion, a 90-day period will be allotted for revision.

“We want adequate attention to it,” Woloson said.

Over the years, Michigan voters have adopted four state constitutions in 1835, 1850, 1908 and 1963. If the proposal is defeated, the proposal will automatically reappear on the ballot 16 years from now, in 2026.

“We did this because it is pretty clear to us that nobody knows this is happening,” Dulio said. “Nobody knows it’s on the ballot and nobody knows why it is on the ballot.”

The department of political science has been communicating with students in class as well as advertisements around campus and off campus to promote the upcoming discussion.

The upcoming discussion is one of many at OU every year which features a well-known keynote speaker.

The discussion is expected to have a strong turnout. The event is free to attend and all students are welcome.