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Hunting amendment snags place on 2012 ballot in Kentucky

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March 7, 2011

Kentucky

By Al Ortiz

FRANKFORT, Kentucky: In what has been an unusual occurrence in the state of Kentucky for the past six years, residents will be able to vote on a statewide constitutional amendment. 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.[1][2]

The 2012 hunting measure was proposed by State Representatives Leslie Combs and Greg Stumbo. Stumbo commented on his proposal, saying, "That's a big step I think in the right direction to help not only this generation of sportsmen, but the next. We have a wonderful heritage of sports in this state. Kentucky was and still is the happy hunting ground."

Although there have been little reports on current opposition to the measure, the Humane Society of the United States has had a history with the issue before. In 2010, a similar measure was on the ballot in Arizona, which was Proposition 109. At the time, President and CEO of the group, Wayne Pacelle, stated, "Prop 109 takes away Arizona voters’ rights and is a giveaway to special interests that defend extreme and inhumane practices. If we let the politicians take away our right to vote on wildlife issues, what other issues will be next?” Proposition 109 was ultimately voted down by state voters during the 2010 general election[3]

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