Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count: proposals for upcoming ballots roll in as challenges for 2010 measures continue to develop
By Bailey Ludlam
Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count is steady at three certified measures in the state of Mississippi but officials and citizens in numerous states continue to file and circulate measures for the 2011 ballot. In 2009, voters cast their ballots on a total of 32 statewide questions. In the latest decade voters saw an average of 46 questions in odd-numbered years.
In keeping with a 2010 trend in which rainy-day fund proposals appeared on three different statewide ballots, Texas State Representative John Otto pre-filed legislation for a Texas Rainy Day Fund amendment. The measure requires that the state comptroller transfer sales and use tax revenues to the state rainy day fund, but only when the revenues exceed the average rate of growth for the previous 20 years. The measure was filed in order to "assist the State to live within its means and lessen the need for future tax increases," according to Otto. A 2/3rds vote in both chambers of the Texas State Legislature is required to refer an amendment to the ballot.
Some legislators, however, are looking beyond the 2011 ballot and are preparing proposals for 2012. Minnesota Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, Rep.-elect Sondra Erickson and Sen.-elect Paul Gazelka announced that they plan to focus on proposing a Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment for the 2012 ballot. The measure proposes banning same-sex marriage.
The 2010 general elections took place a month ago this week but challenges continue to develop. In both Maine and Arizona state and county officials began the task of recounting thousands of votes. The Maine Oxford Casino Initiative, Question 1 was approved by voters by less than one percent. The controversial measure was challenged only days following the November 2 elections. Officials estimate that the recount will take several weeks.
Similarly a recount was initiated for Arizona Signature Filing Amendment, Proposition 112. Only two other known statewide recounts have been held, one in a 1994 Democratic primary and the other in 1916, when there was a legal challenge for the position of governor. Like Maine, the recount is expected to take a few weeks.
In Missouri, however, lawmakers are keeping their eye on two citizen initiatives approved by voters this Fall. The earnings tax initiatives, Proposition A, is not only facing a legal challenge by opponents who argue that it may be unconstitutional but also is facing efforts by lawmakers to amend the measure. Rep. Tishaura Jones filed legislation which would amend the frequency of elections in St. Louis and Kansas City on the earnings tax issue. The elections would be every 20 years instead of every five years.
Efforts to repeal Missouri Dog Breeding Regulation Initiative, Proposition B were made official this week. On the first day to file legislation for consideration in the 2011 legislative session, Sen. Bill Stouffer officially filed a bill to repeal Proposition B, also known as the "puppy mill initiative."
SPOTLIGHT: Local ballot measures, the results are in!
If you are looking for local ballot measure results, look no further. As promised, we've updated and posted results for local measures in a number of counties, cities and towns across the United States. The overall trend was varied from state to state, Wisconsin for example had most of their school issues approved, where as Michigan had more of their school measures defeated. On the whole, most tax increases were not approved by local voters, though some exceptions were apparent. Notable measures which were followed included the Anne Arundel Mills Slot question which was approved, giving the development company the go ahead to start their build of a slots parlor at the mall. The New York City Term Limits Question was also approved by voters, again reducing the term of city officials. Red light measures were defeated in both Houston, Texas and Mukilteo City, Washington.
| 2011 ballot measures|
|Tuesday Count • 2011 Scorecard|