The Tuesday Count: a pair of hunting measures boost 2012 total
By Al Ortiz
While the 2011 count of certified measures has plateaued for the time being, the 2012 count has not only been bumped up by two, but the pair of measures both deal with the right to hunt and fish in that particular state. The increase has now made the 2012 total inch up from seven statewide questions to nine in five statewide ballots, with Kentucky joining in the mix, in what has been an unusual occurrence in the state for the past few years.
On March 4, 2011, the Kentucky General Assembly passed an amendment that would ensure the right of residents to hunt and fish in the state. Although the measure won't be voted on until 2012, it would mark an end to an eight year drought of ballot measures. The last time residents voted on a statewide proposal was in 2004, when voters approved of a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment that made marriage in the state only between one man and one woman.
Wyoming contributed to the other half of the Tuesday Count increase, with state lawmakers sending a similar hunting amendment to the ballot that would ensure the right of residents to hunt and fish in the state. The issue of hunting only seems to be gaining steam, as similar measures appeared on ballots in six states - Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina and Tennessee - in 2010.
The right to hunt and fish isn't the only hot button topic that is rearing its head across the country, as North Carolina is among three other states calling for spending and revenue limits. The proposed North Carolina Taxpayer Bill of Rights Amendment was filed in late February and is similar to measures being considered in Arizona, Georgia and Florida. The legislatively-referred constitutional amendment would establish an expenditure limit based on population growth plus inflation. A 2/3rd majority vote of the North Carolina General Assembly would be required to to exceed the limit. Additionally, the proposed measure would establish a reserve trust fund.
These measures are close in nature to the Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). The measure, approved in 1992, limited state revenue using a formula based on population growth and inflation.
RECENT PROPOSALS: Texas-sized plate of measures
- According to the Texas Legislature's website, currently there are 129 proposed constitutional amendments seeking ballot access so far. Although there are 129 total, some Senate and House resolutions may be duplicates of each other, according to the website.
- Alabama "Sharia Law Amendment" (2012) - would prohibit courts in the state from using the Islamic Sharia Law when making judicial decisions.
- Alabama Healthcare Amendment (2012) - would prohibit mandatory participation in any health care system.
- Kansas School Finance Amendment (2012) - would change the Kansas Constitution to require that lawmakers provide "equitable" state funding for schools, instead of "suitable," as it currently says in the constitution.
- Ohio Collective Bargaining Limit Repeal (2011) - a veto referendum that would repeal a measure that limits collective bargaining for public employees in the state.
SPOTLIGHT: Local proposals dominate four states
On March 8, 2011, four states will see local elections held in some counties for voters to decide on certain ballot measures. In Arizona, three counties will have voters make their way to the polls, California will see elections in nine counties, Florida's election count will be six counties, and finally Oregon rounds out the list with three counties. In all, a grand total of 43 local ballot measures combined will be voted on among the four states. For two of the states listed above, Florida and California, this will be the second date in which local elections would be held this month. The last election for the two was on March 1.
| 2011 ballot measures|
|Tuesday Count • 2011 Scorecard|
- Wave3.com, "Hunting rights bill filed in KY House," September 1, 2010
- SCTIMES.com, "Hunting rights pass Kentucky assembly; Minnesota is 1 state that has similar measure," March 5, 2011
- North Carolina Legislature,"HB188 full text," accessed March 4, 2011
- Lincoln Tribune,"Bill Would Put Brakes on Spending by State Politicians," March 4, 2011