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States to begin legislative sessions in 2011

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MADISON, Wisconsin: On January 3, 2011, Montana and Ohio will begin their legislative sessions, the first of 48 states to begin sessions in 2011.

Two states have already begun their legislative sessions. Maine's legislature met on December 1, and California's commenced on December 6.

All 50 states will have sessions in 2011, contrasted with 2010, where only 46 states conducted regular sessions. Texas, North Dakota, and Montana were three of the four states in which the legislatures did not hold regular sessions. The fourth state, Nevada, held a special session from February 23 to March 1 dealing with the budget and education.[1]

Month States
January Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
February Oregon, Nevada, Oklahoma
March Alabama, Florida
April Louisiana

A detailed breakdown of legislative start dates, end dates and special election dates may be viewed on Ballotpedia's 2011 state legislative calendar. For more information on session lengths and limits, see this page.

In 2011, state budgets and redistricting are expected to be some of the most controversial issues taken up by state legislatures.[2] With the federal stimulus dropping from state budgets, lawmakers are scrambling to fill the holes that have been created.[3]

Montana politicians begin filing for 2012 gubernatorial campaign

HELENA, Montana: Democratic senator David Wanzenried filed paperwork that will allow him to begin raising money for the 2012 gubernatorial campaign.[4]

Wanzenried joins the list of three Republicans who have already filed to run for governor and begun campaigning: Former U.S. representative Rick Hill, former state senator Ken Miller, and former state senator Corey Stapleton.[4] The Democratic incumbent, Brian Schweitzer, is ineligible to seek re-election due to term limits. Section 8 of Article IV of the Montana Constitution states that governors cannot serve 8 or more years in any 16-year period.

Montana maintains party leadership

By Christopher Bedford

HELENA, Montana: Despite a challenge from Tea Party-favorite Rep. Krayton Kerns (R-Laurel), moderate Republican Rep. Mike Milburn (R-Cascade) held the speakership for the Montana House of Representatives Republican Party in Wednesday's election[5] Milburn will take the helm of a newly-elected Republican majority.

The Democratic Party, which, after two years of even-strength, suddenly finds itself in the minority, chose to elect former Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rep. Jon Sesso (D-Butte) to the role of House minority leader.[6]

In the Senate, both parties re-elected previous leadership, placing Sen. Jim Peterson (R-Buffalo) as president of the Senate, with 2007 Senate Majority Leader Sen. Carol Williams (D-Missoula), taking the role of Senate minority leader.[6]

In the tight race for House speaker, Milburn's use of the heated anti-federal rhetoric of the Tea Party may have played a part in his victory. "This election send a clear message," he said. "America looked socialism in the eye, and they said, 'we're scared.' They said we need to stop doing just about everything Washington has been doing the last few years."[7]

In his last legislative session as executive, Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer will face his first entirely Republican-controlled Legislature when he releases his budget proposal Monday.[5]


Montana House of Representatives
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 50 33
     Republican Party 50 67
Total 100 100


Montana State Senate
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 22 22
     Republican Party 27 28
     Vacancy 1 -
Total 50 50

Montana GOP takes State House

HELENA, Montana: The Montana Republican Party exceeded even their own expectations, Tuesday, when taking an additional 17 seats in the state's House of Representatives. Republicans now control 67 or the 100 seat, ending the 50-50 deadlock that had persisted for the previous two years.[8]


Montana House of Representatives
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 50 33
     Republican Party 50 67
Total 100 100


The GOP also gained five seats in the Montana State Senate, where they now control 32 of the 50 seats. State, and out-of-state, Republicans had launched a tireless campaign designed to link Montana Democrats to the policies of the national Party[8].


Montana State Senate
Party As of November 1, 2010 After the 2010 Election
     Democratic Party 22 22
     Republican Party 27 28
     Vacancy 1 -
Total 50 50

Myths and realities of Constitutional Conventions discussed in Washington D.C.

By Al Ortiz

WASHINGTON D.C.: Constitutional convention questions are on the ballot in four states on November 2, 2010, leaving those voters to decide if they should convene to amend their state document. On October 22, a conference was held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. discussing the history of such conventions and the thought process behind them in terms of campaigning and voters' decisions on them. The four states that have constitutional convention questions on the ballot are Maryland, Michigan, Montana, and Iowa. The conference, held from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., had six key speakers, including J.H. Snider, President of iSolon.org, acting as the mediator.

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The conference started with an opening statement by Snider, who called constitutional conventions "important institutes" that aren't very well known among voters. According to Snider, "This is a historic year (for constitutional conventions). Never in American history have there been four con-con questions on the ballot at the same time." In the opening statement, Snider also stated that so many convention questions won't appear on the ballot again until the year 2090.

With the stars aligning for constitutional convention questions, it was only fitting that the first speaker was John Woodcock, Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Central Connecticut State University, former Connecticut representative, and Vice-Chair of the Connecticut con-con yes campaign in 2008. Having been on the committee to support the passage of the constitutional convention question on the Connecticut 2008 ballot, Woodcock described how his campaign was run, who his opponents were and why his campaign was unsuccessful, as the measure was defeated by a vote of 59 percent to 41 percent. One reason the campaign was unsuccessful, says Woodcock, was that his campaign was outspent $1.5 million to $25,000.

Next in line to speak was Dan Friedman, Maryland Assistant Attorney General, who spoke specifically about the Maryland Constitution and its history of constitutional conventions, which he says there have been five in the state. One interesting tidbit that Friedman spoke about was the fact that the 1864 constitutional convention, which was held during the Civil War, was interrupted due to the Battle of Monocacy, as delegates had to leave the conference to defend their farmlands. At the tail end of his talking time, Friedman, who stated he did not have a position, claimed about this year's question on the Maryland ballot: "Since no one can point to a troubling defect of the constitution...it is unlikely that anyone would vote for the need to fix it."

Constitutional conventions on the ballot in 2010
Nevada 2010 ballot measuresUtah 2010 ballot measuresColorado Fetal Personhood, Amendment 62 (2010)New Mexico 2010 ballot measuresArizona 2010 ballot measuresMontana 2010 ballot measuresCalifornia 2010 ballot measuresOregon 2010 ballot measuresWashington 2010 ballot measuresIdaho 2010 ballot measuresOklahoma 2010 ballot measuresKansas 2010 ballot measuresNebraska 2010 ballot measuresSouth Dakota 2010 ballot measuresNorth Dakota 2010 ballot measuresIowa 2010 ballot measuresMissouri 2010 ballot measuresArkansas 2010 ballot measuresLouisiana 2010 ballot measuresAlabama 2010 ballot measuresGeorgia 2010 ballot measuresFlorida 2010 ballot measuresSouth Carolina 2010 ballot measuresIllinois 2010 ballot measuresTennessee 2010 ballot measuresNorth Carolina 2010 ballot measuresIndiana 2010 ballot measuresOhio 2010 ballot measuresMaine 2010 ballot measuresVirginia 2010 ballot measuresMaryland 2010 ballot measuresMaryland 2010 ballot measuresRhode Island 2010 ballot measuresRhode Island 2010 ballot measuresMassachusetts 2010 ballot measuresMichigan 2010 ballot measuresMichigan 2010 ballot measuresAlaska Parental Notification Initiative, Ballot Measure 2 (2010)Hawaii 2010 ballot measuresCertified, constitutional conventions, 2010 Map.png

Robert Williams, Professor at Rutgers University-Camden, spoke about the reasons behind constitutional conventions. According to Williams, in the 19th century, there were a total of 93 con-cons, as many residents did not trust their legislators, particularly in South Dakota, where the state governor called for residents to not trust state lawmakers. Williams claimed, "We see the United States Constitution as this sacred document that can't be touched. At the state level, we see those constitutions as a day-to-day pragmatic document." However, as the 20th century came around, this trend discontinued, as fewer and fewer conventions were held. Williams gave his reasoning behind those conventions, stating that every person should have an opportunity to become involved with their government and that a convention requires you to weigh in on multiple considerations. He claimed, "It's easy to vote on tax reductions, but when you have to weigh in on how to supplement money used for programs that are funded by the tax, then it's different. Con-cons are very useful."

John Dinan, Associate Professor of Political Science at Wake Forest University, discussed the reasons why constitutional convention questions have failed in the past few decades. According to Dinan, the last con-con to be passed by voters was in Rhode Island in 1984. Dinan cited three reasons why constitutional conventions fail:

  • Citizen apathy and indifference; if citizens are indifferent, their default is to vote 'no'.
  • Particular groups call for the failure of the question, such as state legislators. Constitutional conventions are an alternative power source to state legislatures. Legislators worry that delegates in the conventions may rise to prominence and run for the very seats that legislators occupy.
  • Groups that have interest in a certain provision in the current constitution may worry that it may be done away with if the convention is held.

The last speaker, G. Alan Tarr, Professor at Rugters University-Camden, echoed Dinan by stating, "When people are in the dark, they are easy to scare...Either we take a leap of faith or a leap of desperation."

With the session concluding, it was clear that the speakers who took part in the conference were unsure about which measures would pass, if at all. However, it seemed to clear among them as to which of the four measures has gotten the most attention - which was the Iowa question.

In any case, November 2 is fast approaching and voters in those four states need to find out every myth and reality about constitutional conventions to make an informed decision either way, according to the panel of experts.

Two measures survive last minute legal challenges

Scalesofjustice.jpg

By Bailey Ludlam

Florida and Montana: Two measures were on the chopping block this week but all survived. Judges in Florida and Montana courts ruled that all challenged measures will appear on the upcoming November ballots. Specifically, one measure in Florida and one in Montana were challenged. Opponents requested that the courts remove them from ballots. In Florida, the appeal was filed too late to remove the measure from the ballot but the ruling could have prevented cast votes from being counted.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the challenged Class Size, Amendment 8 will appear on the November 2, 2010 upcoming election ballot. The high court's October 7 ruling upheld a Leon County Circuit Court ruling in early September. The lawsuit, filed by the Florida Education Association, argued that the proposed measure was misleading and an under-handed attempt to reduce state funding for education.

According to the October 7 ruling, however, "We conclude that the ballot title and summary accurately represent the chief purpose of the amendment. It further provides fair notice of what the amendment contains and does not mislead the voters as to the amendment‘s true effect. Accordingly, we hold that the ballot language is not defective and that Amendment 8 complies with the requirements of law. We affirm the trial court‘s judgment that Amendment 8 shall remain on the ballot for the November 2010 general election."[9] The Florida Supreme Court has already rejected three previously certified legislatively-referred constitutional amendments.

In Montana, the initiative that calls for implementing a cap on yearly interest rates of payday and title loans at 36 percent was upheld and will appear on the November ballot. Opponents argued that a change in the language following a Montana Supreme Court ruling should have voided petitions signed by state voters because they saw different versions of the initiative and thus should remove the measure from the ballot. Additionally, during the two-day trial, opponents accused the campaign in support of the measure of lying about the payday and title-loan industry and having illegal contests among signature collectors.

District Judge C.B. McNeil of Polson ruled on October 7 that there was no evidence that the law had been broken in collecting signatures, and that the measure would remain on the ballot. There was no immediate word about an appeal.[10]

Although most state voters guides have been completed and sent to registered voters, lawsuits to remove measures from the ballot remain pending in some states. Like Florida, any pending court rulings may not necessarily remove measures from the ballot but instead prevent cast votes from being counted. Below is a brief list of pending post-certification lawsuits.


Pending post-certification lawsuits:

Measures certified for the ballot, but then removed

All 2010 lawsuits can be viewed here.

Ballotpedia's Regional Breakdown: Northwest ballot measures

Regional Breakdown of 2010 ballot measures: Northwest
Nevada 2010 ballot measuresUtah 2010 ballot measuresColorado 2010 ballot measuresNew Mexico 2010 ballot measuresArizona 2010 ballot measuresMontana 2010 ballot measuresCalifornia 2010 ballot measuresOregon 2010 ballot measuresWashington 2010 ballot measuresIdaho 2010 ballot measuresOklahoma 2010 ballot measuresKansas 2010 ballot measuresNebraska 2010 ballot measuresSouth Dakota 2010 ballot measuresNorth Dakota 2010 ballot measuresIowa 2010 ballot measuresMissouri 2010 ballot measuresArkansas 2010 ballot measuresLouisiana 2010 ballot measuresAlabama 2010 ballot measuresGeorgia 2010 ballot measuresFlorida 2010 ballot measuresSouth Carolina 2010 ballot measuresIllinois 2010 ballot measuresTennessee 2010 ballot measuresNorth Carolina 2010 ballot measuresIndiana 2010 ballot measuresOhio 2010 ballot measuresMaine 2010 ballot measuresVirginia 2010 ballot measuresMaryland 2010 ballot measuresMaryland 2010 ballot measuresRhode Island 2010 ballot measuresRhode Island 2010 ballot measuresMassachusetts 2010 ballot measuresMichigan 2010 ballot measuresMichigan 2010 ballot measuresAlaska 2010 ballot measuresHawaii 2010 ballot measuresNorth West Regional Breakdown.png

By Bailey Ludlam, Johanna Herman and Al Ortiz

NORTHWEST REGION, United States: In a little over one month, voters across the country will make their way to the polls to decide on ballot measures that will alter their constitution, create new laws, or allow their constitution to be changed in a constitutional convention. November 2 is on the horizon, and this week Ballotpedia will begin it's weekly Regional Breakdown of 2010 ballot measures. Each week leading up to the general election, a different region of the country will be reviewed as each state in that region will be combed over to bring you what's on the ballot, with both statewide and local ballot measure summaries. There are five different regions that Ballotpedia has broken the country up into, which are: Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast and Northeast.

With five regions in five weeks, Ballotpedia begins it's breakdown with the Northwest region, which includes eight states. Below is a simple breakdown of how many statewide measures are on the ballot in the Northwest region and how that compares to 2008, followed by summaries of each Northwest state. The information was compiled by Ballotpedia's analysis of the 2010 ballot measures.

New polling data predicts Republicans to gain 623 state legislative seats in election

According to a recent analysis of the 46 legislative elections, Republicans are expected to pick up 623 seats from Democrats.[11]

Partisan dominance in state legislatures
heading into the 2010 state legislative elections
Nevada State LegislatureMassachusetts General CourtColorado General AssemblyNew Mexico State LegislatureWyoming State LegislatureArizona State LegislatureMontana State LegislatureCalifornia State LegislatureOregon State LegislatureWashington State LegislatureIdaho State LegislatureTexas State LegislatureOklahoma State LegislatureKansas State LegislatureNebraska State Senate (Unicameral)South Dakota State LegislatureNorth Dakota State LegislatureMinnesota State LegislatureIowa State LegislatureMissouri State LegislatureArkansas State LegislatureLouisiana State LegislatureMississippi State LegislatureAlabama State LegislatureGeorgia State LegislatureFlorida State LegislatureSouth Carolina State LegislatureIllinois State LegislatureWisconsin State LegislatureTennessee State LegislatureNorth Carolina State LegislatureIndiana State LegislatureOhio State LegislatureKentucky State LegislaturePennsylvania State LegislatureNew Jersey State LegislatureNew York State LegislatureVermont State LegislatureVermont State LegislatureNew Hampshire State LegislatureMaine State LegislatureWest Virginia State LegislatureVirginia State LegislatureMaryland State LegislatureMaryland State LegislatureConnecticut State LegislatureConnecticut State LegislatureDelaware State LegislatureDelaware State LegislatureRhode Island State LegislatureRhode Island State LegislatureMassachusetts State LegislatureNew Hampshire State LegislatureMichigan State LegislatureMichigan State LegislatureAlaska State LegislaturePartisan Breakdown State Legislatures2.jpg

The report was completed by The O'Leary Report, which is a polling service run by Brad O'Leary.

Besides just the overall gain of seats, the analysts predicted the following senates would swing Republican.

Seven state houses are considered in play to change hands from Democrat to Republican.

Over the past three state legislative even-year elections, Democrats have won more seats than Republicans.

  • 2008: Democrats gained a net 63 state legislative seats
  • 2006: Democrats gained 322 state legislative seats
  • 2004: Democrats gained a net 76 state legislative seats.[12]

The current breakdown of state senators and state representatives is as follows:

State senators

Party Number of Percentage
Democratic state senators 1,021 51.8%
Republican state senators 895 45.4%
Non-partisan state senators 49 2.5%
Independent state senators 3
Vacancies 7

State representatives

Party Number of Percentage
Democratic state representatives 3,015 55.9%
Republican state representatives 2,354 43.7%
Independent state representatives 21
Vacancies 23

Based on the current totals, if Republicans won 623 seats the Democrats would still hold a 164-seat edge in overall representation.

According to Ballotpedia research, Republicans face an uphill climb in state legislative races because of term limits. There are 190 Republicans termed out and 182 Democrats. There are also three nonpartisan legislators termed out.

Schweitzer says marijuana law is far off track

By Christopher Bedford

HELENA, Montana: Montana’s law that legalized medical marijuana in 2004, “has gone far off track,” says Governor Brian Schweitzer. Passed to relieve the pain, and stimulate the appetites, of chronically ill patients, it has degenerated into a loophole through which healthy marijuana users can get a medical marijuana car, and thereby access to the drug, for $150.[13].

“Sweitzer hopes the Legislature will clearly define what types of patients should be able to get green cards,” reports The Greatfalls Tribune’s Erin Madison[13].

The law was passed 62%-32% as a citizens initiative on November 2, 2004, before Schweitzer was governor. It was modeled after similar laws in nine other states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington). Two years prior, the investigative arm of Congress had issued a report which found that these laws were working well and had not created problems for law enforcement officials. Proponents also cited the American Nurses Association, the American Public Health Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians as supporters of the medical use of marijuana under physicians' supervision.[14]

The legalization was opposed in 2004 by Rep. Jim Shockley (R). The official opponent argument was prepared by Shockley, along with the Association for Addiction Professionals President Roger Curtiss, NCAC II, LAC. They argued that, as a federally designated Schedule I Drug, marijuana is dangerous, has a high potential for abuse and has no medical value. They also argued that the initiative undermined Montana's drug enforcement priorities and the Food and Drug Administration System's "rigorous scientific and medical process of approval of new drugs that protect the people of the United States from unsafe, ineffective drugs."

Opponents also claimed that the legalization advocates' assertions over the past decade has led to a decrease in marijuana's perceived harmfulness, which has resulted in an increase in marijuana use, other drug use, and drug addiction. They also noted that even if the initiative passed, there are still federal laws in place making it illegal to grow, sell, purchase or use marijuana even with a doctor's prescription.[15]

Another Montana initiative sees legal action for removal

Montana

HELENA, Montana:

In the second time in one month, another Montana initiative will see legal action in order to remove it from the ballot. The Montana Outfitters and Guides Association filed a lawsuit during the week of August 23, 2010, aiming to block the hunting initiative from being placed in front of voters on November 2, 2010. Mac Minard, the executive director the group, stated that the initiative should be removed from the ballot due to the allegations that there were violations of state law when the initiative process was in operation. According to Minard, "These are such broad violations. We're asking them to toss the thing out."

The initiative, I-161, increases nonresident big game license fees and abolishes outfitter-sponsored licenses. The lawsuit, filed in Lewis and Clark County District Court, lists initiative leader Kurt Kephart, the Montana Public Wildlife, who obtained signatures from registered voters, and Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, who certified those signatures.[16]

The other initiative that was under the legal process has already been decided on, and will stay on the ballot. On August 17, 2010, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that the Montana interest rate limit measure could stay on the November ballot, after The Montana Consumer Finance Association requested that the court remove it from the ballot. The measure was allowed to stay on the ballot after a 4-2 vote to allow the measure to be decided by voters, but to alter the for and against statements and the statement of purpose on the ballot. The group requesting that the measure be taken off the ballot did so due to their concerns that the Montana Attorney General, Steve Bullock, did not comply with state law, because ballot statements prepared by the AG's office were not impartial. According to Justice Brian Morris, "We decline petitioners' request to overrule the attorney general's legal sufficiency for I-164, or to tamper with the text of the initiative itself. The attorney general acted within his considerable discretion in drafting the ballot statements and fiscal statements for I-164."[17]

Montana Supreme Court allows ballot initiative to remain on ballot

HELENA, Montana: On August 17, 2010, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that the Montana interest rate limit measure, I-164, could stay on the November ballot, after The Montana Consumer Finance Association requested that the court remove it from the general election. The measure was allowed to stay on the ballot after a 4-2 vote by the court to allow the measure to be decided by voters, but to alter the for and against statements and the statement of purpose on the ballot. If enacted by voters, the measure would cap yearly interest rates of payday and title loans at 36 percent. The current interest rate is 400 percent. The initiative effort was spearheaded by the organization, 400 Percent is Too High.

The group requesting that the measure be taken off the ballot did so due to their concerns that the Montana Attorney General, Steve Bullock, did not comply with state law, because ballot statements prepared by the AG's office were not impartial.

According to Justice Brian Morris, "We decline petitioners' request to overrule the attorney general's legal sufficiency for I-164, or to tamper with the text of the initiative itself. The attorney general acted within his considerable discretion in drafting the ballot statements and fiscal statements for I-164."[18]

In Montana House, term limits affect more Republicans than Democrats

By Melissa Garcia

Montana enacted state legislative term limits in 1992. In 2010, the effects of the term limits that Montana voters approved when they enacted CI-64 in 1992 on the November 3, 1992 ballot will affect more Republicans than Democrats.

Republican state representatives Dave Kasten, Dee Brown, Dennis Himmelberger, Penny Morgan, Ray Hawk, Robert Lake, Ronald Stoker, Scott Mendenhall and Scott Sales are ineligible to run for re-election to the Montana legislature in 2010, along with six Democrats, Arlene Becker, Bill Wilson (Legislature), Bob Bergren, Deborah Kottel, Jill Cohenour and Sue Dickenson.

The Republicans and Democrats are evenly split going into the November 2 election, but the prospects of Republicans gaining house majority are in jeopardy by the fact that they are losing nine senators, while the Democratic Party is losing six senators.


Party As of July 2014
     Democratic Party 39
     Republican Party 61
Total 100


Louis Jacobson, a staff writer for PolitiFact, through an analysis prediction of the 2010 state legislature elections predicts the state house race as a tossup.[19]

In Montana Senate, term limits affect more Republicans than Democrats

Aubyn Curtiss, who is ineligible to run for Montana State Senate District 1 because of term limits. Curtiss has held the seat since 2003.

By Melissa Garcia

Montana enacted state legislative term limits in 1992. In 2010, the effects of the term limits that Montana voters approved when they enacted CI-64 in 1992 on the November 3, 1992 ballot will affect more Republicans than Democrats.

Republican state senators Aubyn Curtiss, Daniel McGee, Gary Perry, Gregory Barkus, Jerry Black, John Esp, Keith Bales, Kelly Gebhardt, Rick Laible and Robert Story are ineligible to run for re-election to the Montana legislature in 2010, along with five Democrats, Carolyn Squires, Joseph Tropila, Kenneth Hansen, Mike Cooney, and Trudi Schmidt.

Republicans hold a 5-seat advantage over Democrats going into the November 2 election, but their prospects of holding onto their state senate majority are in jeopardy by the fact that they are losing ten senators, while the Democratic Party is losing five senators.


Party As of July 2014
     Democratic Party 21
     Republican Party 29
Total 50


Louis Jacobson, a staff writer for PolitiFact, conducted an analysis of the state legislatures in which he predicts that the Montana Senate leans Republican. Despite the loss of ten senators, the Republicans are expected to maintain their lead as the majority in the Senate.[20]

Three initiatives certified for the 2010 ballot in Montana (Updated)

HELENA, Montana: Bringing the total count of ballot measures in Montana to four, three initiatives were certified on July 19, 2010 for the general election ballot. The Montana Secretary of State had until August 19, 2010 to certify initiatives for the ballot, but stated that three measures had enough signatures to make the ballot well before that date. This leaves eight other initiatives hoping for ballot access dead, leaving sponsors to decide whether or not to try for a future ballot. Signatures must have been filed by June 18, 2010 to county clerks' offices. The deadline for those county clerks to submit signatures was July 16, 2010. The required amount of signatures for a state statute was 24,337, while the required number of signatures for constitutional amendments was 48,673. The three measures that were certified for the ballot are:[21]

  • The New Property Tax Elimination amendment, which seeks to eliminate real estate or realty transfer tax. The tax, according to Montana law, is implemented when a sale is closed or if property is being transferred, along with other fees.
It is particularly difficult to get an initiative on the ballot in Montana, percentages for this year show, as the 11 circulating initiatives were less than half of the actual proposed measures that were filed with the Secretary of State. According to Linda McCulloch, "Out of 26 proposed ballot measures, three have successfully met the requirements needed to qualify for the November ballot. Even after we tabulate the remaining signatures, none of the other ballot issues will have enough signatures to qualify.”[22]

Montana counties turn in initiative signatures to Secretary of State

HELENA, Montana: Montana counties had until July 16, 2010 to turn in initiative signatures to the Montana Secretary of State that were submitted to them by initiative sponsors on June 18, 2010. The Secretary of State now has until August 19, 2010 to count those signatures in order to place proposal on the ballot. If initiative efforts collected enough signatures to place their measure on the ballot, they will appear before voters on the November 2, 2010 general election ballot.[23]

The earliest date to begin the process of circulating petitions for signatures for 2010 ballot issues was June 18, 2009. The required amount of signatures for a state statute is 24,337. The required number of statutes for constitutional amendments is 48,673.

Democratic majorities in state senates at greater risk than Republican majorities, analyst says

Chambers of the Wisconsin State Senate. Analyst Louis Jacobson says that the Democratic Party's majority control of the chamber is vulnerable on November 2, 2010

By Geoff Pallay and Leslie Graves

While much of the country has been focusing on whether Congress will change hands, the importance of the state level elections is beginning to draw attention.

Across the country, there are 1,971 senate seats in the 50 states. Forty-three states are holding state senate elections this fall -- with a grand total of 1,167 seats up for grabs. Translation: 59 percent of all state senate seats are up for election.

According to Louis Jacobson, a staff writer for PolitiFact, partisan dominance will be at stake in 12 of the 43 states.[24]

When looking at states with elections this fall, the percentage of seats up for election jumps even higher. Nearly 70 percent of all seats in senates with elections this fall are up for election.

Meanwhile, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reports that whichever party resides in the White House typically performs poorly during midterm elections for state level offices. In fact, only twice in the last 110 years -- 1934 and 2002 -- has the party that controlled the White House outperformed its opposition in state elections.[25]

Federal government pays Montana counties for non-taxable land

By Phil Drake

Montana: The federal government recently paid Montana counties millions of dollars for the services they provide for 27 million acres of non-taxable federal land. This year, the counties were paid nearly $4.5 million less this year from the year before. But, in general, counties will receive more money from the federal government through other programs. But they will have less leeway in deciding how some of those funds will be spent, an official said.

More than 1,850 local governments nationwide will receive payments totaling $358.1 million under the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program (PILT), U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. In all, Montana counties will receive $23.5 million.

A news release from the Department of the Interior stated that Montana and 27 other states – including Wyoming, North Dakota and Idaho – received lower payments this year. This was a result of increases in Forest Service timber and Mineral Leasing Act payments, fewer acres in the PILT program, and payments falling below the $100 threshold.

“It’s absolutely essential funding for counties, especially for those with large federal land holdings and for counties that do not have a large property tax base,” said L. Harold Blattie, executive director of the Montana Association of Counties.

Payments are also based on federal funds local governments gave under programs other than PILT during the previous year. These include those made under the Refuge Revenue Sharing Fund, the National Forest Fund, the Taylor Grazing Act, the Mineral Leasing Act, the Federal Power Act, and the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000. Sections 6904 and 6905 provide additional payments for additions to the National Park System and National Forest Wilderness areas.

Blattie notes the forest payments must be used for county road projects, education levies and the state. Whereas, the PILT funds go into county’s general funds with “no strings attached.”

Generally, most counties will receive more money, he said, but the government stipulates where some of that money must be used.[26]

Ballotpedia News

Questions surround Montana hunting initiative

HELENA, Montana: Initiative 161 has run into many questions surrounding its signature gathering process, and those questions haven't stopped coming. The Montana Outfitters & Guides Association, the main opposition to the measure, stated that officials should look into the legality of the signature gathering for the initiative. The proposed measure would increase nonresident big game license fees and abolish outfitter-sponsored licenses. According to the Association, inmates at the Butte Prerelease Center were working to gather signatures for the initiative for court ordered community service, which the group claimed may not coincide with initiative laws. According to Mac Minard, executive director of the Association, "Contact with Jay Grant, administrator, Butte Prerelease facility, confirmed that prerelease residents were in fact being used in this manner, although no confirmation was made as to whether these individuals were indeed working off community service requirements."[27]

Grant claimed that they were only hired, not volunteers. Grant countered by stating that these inmates were used as paid signature gatherers, working for $9 an hour and that no wrong doing occurred. Grant was not aware if any vehicles were used to transport inmates to the areas they were designated to gather signatures, to where Minard stated that the use of public employees, vehicles, and time was in violation of a law prohibiting such action. Grant also claimed that inmates only stated they were working for community service after Minard "badgered them pretty good." Grant said, ."..they’re felons, they can’t have guns and they don’t have a dog in the fight. They’re just looking to make nine bucks an hour."[28]

Fraud being claimed in Montana's I-161 initiative

HELENA, Montana:

The I-161 initiative may be in trouble, according to supporters of the initiative. According to Kurt Kephart, who organized the initiative, fraudulent signatures were turned in by a petitioner. The petitioner, who is not named by Kephart, was hired by a temp agency that Kephart paid to hire signature gatherers. Kephart was nervous that the discovery could keep the measure off of the ballot. According to Kephart, "It only takes one apple to ruin the whole barrel. I’m sick to my stomach...I’m sure it’s an election fraud. I want him prosecuted."

The signatures were submitted to Cascade County by the unnamed man, and Candy Sonsteng, a Cascade County election official, then turned in those signatures to the Cascade County Attorney's office. Kephart then informed the media, citing a need to be honest in order to salvage the validity of his group's efforts: "If you’re not honest about a problem in your back yard, then the whole thing is going to be suspect...We were very close to making this thing. Now, even if we barely make the district numbers and the numbers of signatures, it’s suspect. The whole thing is thrown into question." The maximum penalty for the offense of knowningly turning in false signatures is a $500 fine and six months in jail.[29]

I-161 would increase nonresident big game license fees and abolishes outfitter-sponsored licenses.

Time down to zero as Montana initiative petition deadline arrives

By Al Ortiz and Michael Noyes

GALLATIN COUNTY, Montana: With just hours to spare, sponsors of all 10 circulating initiatives spread out across Montana today to deliver petition signatures to county clerks across the state. The Treasure State's petition drive deadline arrived, whether initiative organizers were ready or not to submit their months, and in one case, week of signature gathering to appropriate counties. Signatures must have been submitted to the courthouses of state counties in which signatures are collected from by 5 p.m. MST.

Gallatin County Courthouse. Photo Credit: Michael Noyes

According to the Montana Secretary of State's office, eleven initiatives had been approved for circulation out of 26 total proposals that had been submitted by hopeful sponsors, with one circulating initiative withdrawing their signature gathering efforts. In an unusual twist, the Secretary of State certified a medical marijuana repeal proposal just seven days before the deadline, on June 11, 2010, leaving organizers little time to gather the required 24,337 signatures for the ballot. That small amount of time was due to the fact that organizers submitted their proposal on May 25, 2010, allowing minimal time for the Secretary of State to approve the measure for circulation. The measure would repeal the Montana Medical Marijuana Act, which legalized medical marijuana in the state.

[[Montana 2010 ballot measures#Circulating|Other initiatives approved for circulation included a proposal that would define life as the beginning of conception. The measure had been closely watched by both supporters and opponents, with Planned Parenthood the main organization against the measure and the Montana ProLife Coalition being the main supporters and sponsors of the proposal.

Two other initiatives that were circulating for signatures deal with the issue of wildlife in the state, in more ways than one. One measure would increase nonresident big game hunting license fees and abolish outfitter-sponsored licenses. The other measure would prohibit the trapping of all wild mammals and birds on public lands in the state.

Salvador Navarro, 50, of Bozeman, drops off 25 signatures at the Gallatin County Courthouse on Friday afternoon. The petition he circulated is aimed at getting a measure on the ballot that would change the state's law regarding medical marijuana. Photo Credit: Michael Noyes

In Bozeman, Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder Charlotte Mills said about 10 people had stopped by to drop off petitions as of late afternoon. Another three people came to her office at the Gallatin County Courthouse with petitions over the next hour. According to Mills, “To me this is pretty normal, what we’re seeing today."

About an hour before the deadline, Salvador Navarro dropped off 25 signatures aimed at getting the aforementioned medical marijuana repeal on the November 2 general election ballot.

“I think it’s important that we protect our families and protect our kids,” said Navarro, a 50-year-old Bozeman resident, about the initiative.

Navarro said he personally supports allowing residents who truly need the plant for medical purposes to have it. However, he said current law has been abused to increase the sale of marijuana in the black market and other related crimes. Navarro stated: “It’s totally out of control."

Mills said her office has accepted petitions regarding all of the approved circulating initiatives that supporters hoped to place on the ballot. Her office will then verify that those who signed are registered voters in the county and that the signatures on the petitions match the signatures on voter registration records.

The Gallatin County office and other county offices have until July 16 to certify petitions and turn them in to the secretary of state’s office. August 19 is the deadline for the secretary of state to certify initiatives to be placed on the ballot, according to Mills.

In order to qualify a measure for the ballot, organizers must altogether collect at least 48,673 signatures for proposed initiated constitutional amendments and 24,337 signatures for proposed initiated state statutes. Those numbers represent 10% of votes cast for governor in the last gubernatorial general election for amendments and 5% for statutes. The June 18, 2010 deadline for initiatives represents the third Friday of the fourth month prior to the election at which measures are proposed to be voted upon by the people, according to Montana initiative law.

Montana Secretary of State already tallying up signature count for initiatives

By Al Ortiz

Montana: Today is the day that all initiative organizers in Montana have been working towards. The signature filing deadline has arrived, as all initiative sponsors hoping to place their proposals on the ballot have until 5 p.m. to turn in all their petition signatures collected to county courthouses across the state.

The Montana Secretary of State's office is hard at work also, as certified signatures are already being tallied for each initiative that has turned them in. The following is a rundown of the signatures that have so far been certified for each measure. The numbers are as of June 17, 2010, and have not been updated, according to the Secretary of State's office:

Initiative Number Signatures so far verified
CI-102 9,768
I-160 8,479
CI-103 992
I-161 9,757
I-162 None yet
CI-105 690
CI-104 None yet
CI-106 None yet
I-164 4,918
I-165 None yet

Signatures that have been certified were validated at county courthouses where those signatures were turned in. Those signatures are then sent constantly at the discretion of that county, via mail, to the Secretary of State's office, where the dates of signatures are checked. If dates of signatures are shown as being signed before the date the petition was approved for circulation, those signatures are scanned and sent back to the initiative organizers. Certified signatures are then typed into the website for public view.

Montana "Right to Life" initiative already turning in signatures day before deadline

By Al Ortiz

GALLATIN COUNTY, Montana: Signatures are apparently being turned in to county courthouses during the days leading up to the June 18, 2010 petition drive deadline, as Ballotpedia contacted the Gallatin County Elections Department to find out that the Montana ProLife Coalition has submitted a portion of signatures in hopes of gaining ballot access in November. As of 11 a.m. today, the initiative has had a total of 690 signatures counted and verified in Gallatin County.

The effort to submit signatures by the coalition is currently happening statewide, as the group told Ballotpedia that they have been submitting signatures in an ongoing basis throughout state counties this week and plan to do so all day today and Friday in lieu of the 5 p.m. cut off. The initiative effort is being spearheaded by Dr. Annie Bukacek, who is the head of the organization. The initiated constitutional amendment, according to its potential ballot language, proposes to define a “person” as from the "beginning of the biological development of that human being" and that no "person" shall be deprived of life. The group needs to turn in the required 48,673 signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The initiative was filed with the Montana Secretary of State four times as Issue #2, Issue #3, Issue #4 and Issue #5. Steve Bullock, Montana's Attorney General, approved the ballot language of Issue #4, also known as CI-102, during the week of September 4, 2009. The main opposition that the proposed amendment faces is the Helena-based NARAL/Pro-Choice Montana. In the event that supporters do get sufficient signatures, opponents stated a confidence that Montana voters will reject the amendment.

Montana marijuana initiative gets approved for circulation

HELENA, Montana: With less than a week left for initiative organizers to gather required signatures to get their proposed measure on the general election ballot, the Secretary of State certified the marijuana law repeal proposal for circulation. The measure, also known as I-165, would, if enacted, allow the repeal the Montana Medical Marijuana Act, which legalized medical marijuana in the state. The law that the measure is hoping to repeal was approved in 2004, when voters approved it with a vote of 276,042 (61.8%) to 170,579 (38.2).[30][31]

The initiative campaign needs to collect 24,337 signatures by the June 18, 2010 petition drive deadline. The group received permission to circulate on June 11, 2010.[32]

Montana alcohol initiative stops efforts

HELENA, Montana: An alcohol initiative proposed for the November 2, 2010 ballot has withdrawn its efforts for ballot access, according to reports. The measure, introduced and supported by Supreme Court chief justice Mike McGrath, was withdrawn due to budget concerns in the state if it had passed.[33]

The proposed measure for the 2010 ballot would have raked in revenue from alcohol sales taxes and would have used it to fund treatment courts, alcohol treatment programs and drug prevention programs. The reason for the proposal, McGrath stated, was the increase of drunk driving related cases that continue to surface around the state.[34][35]

Montana's I-161 initiative draws allegations

HELENA, Montana: According to reports, there have been at least 34 violations of Montana election law that have been filed with Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch's office concerning the I-161 initiative. The measure, if sent to the ballot, would allow voters to decide whether or not to increase nonresident big game license fees and abolishes outfitter-sponsored licenses. The main campaign for the measure is Montana Public Wildlife.

However, Supporters for Preserving Montana's Outfitting Tradition/Against I-161 stated that the alleged violations include the following:

  • 8 counts of misleading petition signers
  • 9 counts of not having full initiative text when asking for signatures
  • 17 counts of falsely swearing

According to Kurt Kephart, leader of the campaign for the measure, "I can’t answer anything I haven’t seen yet. It’s kind of out of the blue."[36]

Montana no stranger to hunting ballot measures

HELENA, Montana: The state of Montana may see an initiative on this year's November 2, 2010 ballot, and if the measure is placed in front of voters, it won't be the first time the state has seen a question relating to hunting. While this year's proposed measure would increase nonresident big game license fees and abolish outfitter-sponsored licenses, two other hunting measures, one in 1998 and the other in 2004, would have impacted, and did impact, hunting in the state in a different way.[37]

In 1998, a measure was proposed to reserve approximately 7,800 outfitter-sponsored licenses for out-of-state hunters each year: 5,500 licenses that would have entitled 5,500 licenses to fish and to hunt birds, deer and elk, while the remaining 2,300 to exclude an "elk tag." The measure was defeated with only 44% in favor of the measure. In 2004, a measure was proposed to add a provision specifically to recognize and preserve the opportunity of Montana citizens to harvest wild fish and wild game animals. The measure was approved with 80.5% of voters voting 'yes'.

The current measure is circulating to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot. Petition circulators have until the June 18, 2010 petition drive deadline to turn in the required 24,337 signatures, since the proposed measure is a citizen-initiated state statute.

Ten initiatives approved for circulation in Montana

HELENA, Montana: Ten initiatives have been certified for circulation in the state of Montana, as the latest one to be approved for signature gathering was I-164. The measure, also known as the loan interest rate limit question, would cap yearly interest rates of payday and title loans at 36 percent. The current interest rate is 400 percent. The initiative effort is being spearheaded by the organization, 400 Percent is Too High, and is being backed by Tom Jacobson. Jacobson is the executive director of Rural Dynamics.[38]

Petition circulators for initiatives have until the June 18, 2010 petition drive deadline to turn in the required number of signatures for ballot consideration. For proposed initiated constitutional amendments, petitions must gather 48,673 signatures, and 24,337 for proposed initiated state statutes.

The other nine measures that are circulating include:

Type Title Subject Description Status
CICA Life Begins at Conception Initiative Abortion Define life as beginning at conception Circulating
CISS Commercial Trapping Amendment Animal rights Prohibit commercial trapping of animals on public lands Circulating
CICA Trust Fund Amendment Admin. of gov't Establish and fund the Older Montanans Trust Fund Circulating
CISS Hunter Access Funding Initiative Environment Change how hunter access programs are funded. Circulating
CISS Eminent Domain Reform Amendment Eminent domain Reform laws in Montana governing eminent domain Circulating
CICA New Property Tax Elimination Amendment Property tax Prohibit any new tax on the sale or transfer of real property. Circulating
CICA Juries Right to Judge Amendment Admin. of gov't Give juries the right to judge law Circulating
CICA Citizen Grand Juries Amendment Admin. of gov't Allows citizens to convene grand juries Circulating
CICA Drug Treatment Proposal Alcohol Revenue from alcohol sales taxes to fund alcohol treatment programs Circulating

Voters in Michigan, 6 other states, weigh in on local ballot measures May 4

LANSING, Michigan: Voters in twenty-eight counties are heading to the polls today to cast their votes on various local issues. Three school board recalls are on the ballot along with the majority of issues being about local school taxes or bonds. Most of the school property tax issues deal with renewing the property tax on non primary residency properties. Schools are hopeful throughout the state that their issues will be passed by voters this time around. Along with the vote in Michigan, local elections are being held in California, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, North Carolina and Ohio.

Not all local elections have been posted or listed online.

Montana's C-105 opposed by teachers

HELENA, Montana: C-105, an initiative currently being circulated in the state of Montana that would eliminate real estate or realty transfer tax, has gained a new opponent. On March 28, 2010, 250 Montana Education Association-Montana Federation of Teachers delegates, representing members across the state, voted to oppose the initiative effort. The organization represents 18,000 members, comprised of K-12 teachers, school support staff, higher education faculty, public employees, Head Start, and health care employees across Montana. According to the group's president, Eric Feaver, "CI-105 would prohibit a tax that does not exist. It would embed that prohibition in Montana’s state constitution. It is at root an anti-government measure."[39]

The tax, according to Montana law, is implemented when a sale is closed or if property is being transferred, along with other fees. The measure is being circulated by the Montana Association of Realtors and have until June 18, 2010 to submit 48,673 signatures to the Montana Secretary of State in order to be considered for the ballot.

Initiative process under scrutiny in Montana

BallotLaw final.png

HELENA, Montana: Complaints have begun to surface, according to Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, in relation to the state's initiative process, specifically signature gathering. McCulloch stated that she is sending a letter to each of the 13 initiative sponsors who are gathering signatures, stating that gatherers must be Montana residents and can't be paid based on number of signatures obtained.

The Secretary of State's actions are a result of the commissioner of political practices noting that there were concerns about certain signature gatherers and how they may be from out of state. The commissioner also said there were complaints that gatherers may have been misrepresenting an initiative or did not have a copy of the initiative when circulating petitions.[40]

Many initiatives filed in Montana, but few make it to the ballot

HELENA, Montana: As of March 1, 2010, there were 25 initiatives that were filed for the November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of Montana. According to reports, that is the highest number of filed initiatives since 1995-96. 32 proposals were filed that year, but as reports and numbers show, not many made it to the ballot. The reason, according to legislative attorney Greg Petesch, is that "People are not really organized to get signatures in large numbers. I don't think they realize the actual work it takes to qualify for the ballot. Sending it in to us on a piece of paper is the easy part."[41]

Numbers for previous years show that many initiatives have set out to seek ballot placement, with only a handful ever making it for voter approval:

This year, groups must submit signatures to the Montana Secretary of State by the June 18, 2010 petition drive deadline. 48,673 signatures are required for proposed constitutional amendments, while 24,337 signatures are needed for proposed statutes. Many proposed questions have already been withdrawn.[42]

Cost analysis performed for Montana hunting initiative

HELENA, Montana: The Montana Legislative Analyst's office performed a cost analysis for the Montana hunting initiative that is currently in circulation for the June 18, 2010 signature filing deadline. According to the results of the analysis, The Montana Hunter Access Funding Initiative would increase state revenues over the next four years by approximately $700,000 annually for hunting access.[43]

The measure, also known as I-161, would also increase state revenues by about $1.5 million per year for habitat preservation and restoration, according to the report.

Montana sees five petitions begin circulation

Helena, Montana: As of January 15, 2010, the Montana Secretary of State has approved five initiative petitions for circulation. Currently, one statewide ballot question has been approved for the November 2, 2010 ballot. Ballot measures in the state of Montana that are currently obtaining signatures to be considered for the ballot include:[44]

See also

References

  1. NCSL, 2010 Legislative Session Calendar
  2. The Wichita Eagle, "Sever legislative issues to watch in 2011," December 30, 2010
  3. Clarksdale Press Register, "Lack of stimulus will affect 2011 funds," December 30, 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 billingsgazette.com, Missoula senator first prominent Democrat to test 2012 gubernatorial waters, December 13, 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 Great Falls Tribune, Cascade's Milburn elected House speaker, Nov. 18, 2010
  6. 6.0 6.1 Billings Gazette, Montana legislators settle on leadership posts, Nov. 16, 2010
  7. Stateline, Trickle of Democratic legislators become Republicans, Nov. 18, 2010
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Spokesman-Review, Montana GOP set to win House, Nov. 4, 2010
  9. Supreme Court of Florida,"(Florida Education Association vs. Florida Department of State) ruling," October 7, 2010
  10. Independent Record, "Judge rules that payday lender initiative will remain on ballot," October 7, 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 The O'Leary Report, "Tea Party, NRA and GOP to Gain 623 State Level Seats in November," August/Septepmber 2010
  12. Washington Examiner, "More on legislative elections," September 22, 2010
  13. 13.0 13.1 Source, Governor- Medical marijuana law far off track, September 22, 2010
  14. 2004 Montana Voter Information Pamphlet (PDF) p. 30-31
  15. 2004 Montana Voter Information Pamphlet (PDF) p. 32
  16. Great Falls Tribune, "Montana outfitters file suit to stop initiative," August 30, 2010
  17. Missoulian, "Montana Supreme Court OKs payday loan initiative," August 18, 2010
  18. Missoulian, "Montana Supreme Court OKs payday loan initiative," August 18, 2010
  19. state by state analysis
  20. state by state analysis
  21. The Missoulian, "3 ballot measures qualify for November," July 20, 2010
  22. The Laurel Outlook, "Three ballot issue proposals certified," July 21, 2010
  23. KFBB.com, "Montana Counties Submit Their Ballot Issues," July 16, 2010
  24. State legislatures in for a wild ride
  25. Ohio elections race
  26. " Counties get money from feds for servicing non-taxable land," Watchdog.org, July 9, 2010
  27. Billings Gazette, "Fraudulent signature gathering suspected in I-161," June 24, 2010
  28. Helena Independent Record, "Inmates were paid to gather signatures," July 11, 2010
  29. Billings Gazette, "Fraudulent signature gathering suspected in I-161," June 24, 2010
  30. KULR8, "Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative," May 26, 2010
  31. Montana Secretary of State, "Proposed 2010 Ballot Issues"
  32. KRTV.com, "Petition to repeal medical marijuana ready for signatures," June 13, 2010
  33. Great Falls Tribune, "Let's fix the way we address drunken driving problem," May 7, 2010
  34. Great Falls Tribune, "Justice pitches ballot initiative," February 9, 2010
  35. CNBC.com, "Alcohol treatment initiative scrapped," June 7, 2010
  36. Queen City News, "I-161 backers accused of election violations," June 3, 2010
  37. Montana Secretary of State, "Proposed 2010 ballot measures"
  38. Public News Service, "Montana Initiative Takes on the Payday Loan Industry," February 24, 2010
  39. The Clark Fork Chronicle, "Teachers oppose CI-105 as 'anti-government'," April 22, 2010
  40. Great Falls Tribune, "Some complain about initiative signature gathering," March 18, 2010
  41. Missoulian, "COLUMN: Ballot initiative proposals pile up, but most won't make it," February 28, 2010
  42. Montana Secretary of State, "Proposed 2010 ballot measures"
  43. Great Falls Tribune, "Hunting initiative aims for access to wildlife," February 1, 2010
  44. 2010 ballot issues