The Tuesday Count: Certified measure total showing life amidst petition drive deadline

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January 17, 2012

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Edited by Al Ortiz

The continuous stagnancy of the Tuesday Count may be coming to an end sooner rather than later. Today, January 17, is the petition drive deadline for the state of Alaska, and one proposal's supporters are claiming they have enough signatures for ballot consideration.

According to early reports, the measure, a proposed state coastal management program, has well over the estimated 26,000 signatures needed for it to be sent to the legislature for review. The potential state statute was submitted to the Lieutenant Governor's office during the week of October 5, 2011 by Juneau Mayor Bruce Botelho and other supporters of the initiative. Specifically, the measure would create the Alaska Coastal Zone Management Program.[1]

Alaska is the only coastal state in the country without a federal coastal management plan, according to reports. Coastal programs are established to guarantee state and local participation in federal decisions on coastal issues that could potentially surface.

The Alaska Sea Party is the main group behind the measure. Since the ballot question is an indirect initiated state statute, supporters must have collected more than 25,875 signatures by the deadline. Then, the Alaska Legislature must review the proposal to decide whether or not to enact it into a law. If the lawmaking body chooses not to do so, the measure would then appear on a 2012 ballot.

Updates will be given as signatures are filed.

The next petition drive deadline is in Maine on January 30, followed by Florida on February 1.

Shifting to legislative referrals, a certified measure in Minnesota faces a challenge from a recently filed bill to block it from the ballot. The same-gender marriage amendment may not end up on the November 2012 ballot after all if the legislature votes to enact the ban. The 2012 ballot measure would forbid same-gender marriage in the state.

The 2012 bill's chief author is Rep. Karen Clark. According to reports, in the Minnesota State Senate the bill is to be represented by Sen. Scott Dibble.

The 2012 legislative session convenes on January 24.

Featured campaign quotes:
Oklahoma SQ 762 - Support
Speaker of the State House Kris Steele
Letting the governor focus on parole recommendations for violent crimes is a critical component of Oklahoma’s recent progress to build a stronger, more effective criminal justice system.[2]

Oklahoma SQ 762 - Opposition
State Representative Jason Murphey
When you take the governor out of [the parole] process [for non-violent crimes] the people of Oklahoma have no one to hold accountable...[2]

The bill number is HF1885 and the bill text is available here.

Indiana's Legislature, on the other hand, is currently working on getting a measure of its own on the ballot. A "right-to-work" amendment appears to be up for a vote in the legislature, a vote that is needed in order to send the legislative referral to the ballot in 2012. The legislatively-referred state statute would ban unions from collecting mandatory representation fees from workers.

According to reports, the Indiana House of Representatives was set to vote on the measure today. If the measure is passed by the House, it will then be sent to the Indiana State Senate for a similar vote. If passed there, it will be sent to the voters.

The issue of right-to-work in Indiana will be updated as developments continue.

However, in Colorado, instead of right-to-work, right-to-life supporters have their hands full with a newly filed legal challenge. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains filed an appeal with the Colorado Supreme Court, requesting to block the proposed "personhood" measure's supporters from placing it on the ballot. The appeal was filed on January 9, 2012, weeks after the Colorado Title Board approved the language of the measure, and allowing for circulation of initiative petitions.[3]

This is the fourth "personhood" measure with a lawsuit filed against it since 2011. The other three were in Mississippi and Nevada, with two in Nevada for a 2014 proposal. Read more about these lawsuits here.

Quick hits

  • California proposal, take two: California Governor Jerry Brown must refile his initiative to raise taxes following a typographical error in the original filing. Brown stated that this should not affect the timetable of the initiative efforts.[4]
Proposals with recent activity


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SPOTLIGHT:Croatians to decide on European Union membership Sunday
Residents in the country of Croatia will have the opportunity to vote on a referendum which would allow the country to join the European Union. The Croatian government already signed the accession treaty on December 9, 2011, but a referendum is needed in order for voters to have their say on joining the union. If membership is approved, Croatia would become the 28th EU country on July 1, 2013. Croatia would also be the second former Yugoslavia country to join the EU, a noted achievement for the country. While recent polls suggest that most are in favor of membership to the EU, there are still those against membership. Those opposed note that there are no benefits to the EU; that the loss of sovereignty would hinder Croatia, and European competition would hurt small businesses in the country. But a campaign by the government in favor of membership has already been started and recent protests by a small group in nation's capital have done little to hinder the government's hopes for approval.


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The Arkansas Attorney General rejected what proposed amendment's wording recently?
Click here to find out!
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BALLOT LAW UPDATE

Virginia primary petition challenge: On December 27, presidential candidate Rick Perry (R) filed suit, challenging Virginia's circulator residency requirement. However, on January 13 a US District Court threw out Perry's lawsuit on the grounds that it was filed too late. The court did, however, acknowledge that Perry would likely have prevailed on constitutional grounds.[6] Perry quickly appealed the decision.[7] Although Virginia does not permit voters to initiate statewide ballot measures, a ruling in another Virginia petition case  has already had broader implications for ballot measure law.

  • The full decision in the case can be found here.
A new update will be released on January 25, 2012. Click here for past Ballot Law Update reports!

See also

2012 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2012 Scorecard

References