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Ballot Law Update: Semi-annual summary

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By Josh Altic

The first half of 2014 has seen a wide range of changes and attempted changes to ballot law across the nation, with some proposed laws seeking to expand the initiative and referendum process and others attempting to restrict it. For example, legislators in Georgia and eight other states proposed laws that sought to establish the power and process of initiative and referendum in state constitutions. Meanwhile, in Arizona, a controversial law proposed mandating that voters periodically reapprove any initiative or referendum that directs public expenditures or appropriations.

So far this year, state lawmakers have seen at least 113 laws concerning ballot measures during 2014's legislative sessions, of which 67 were carried over from 2013.

As of June 27, 2014, seven laws were approved and 33 were defeated.

This edition of the Ballot Law Update features a half-year roundup of laws, resolutions and bills concerning ballot measure and recall law. It highlights the laws that have been approved and defeated, as well as laws that could entirely change the dynamic of direct democracy on a statewide level.

The Ballot Law Update is released at the end of each month.


Ballot measure legislation breaking news

The Tuesday Count: Marijuana legalization advocates target 2016

Edited by Ryan Byrne

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GMO-labeling and marijuana legalization are two movements with different success rates at the ballot box. Momentum is building behind the movement to legalize recreational marijuana, and inspired proponents are aiming to put the issue on a number of state ballots in 2016.[1] The GMO-labeling movement, on the other hand, hasn't won a statewide ballot battle yet, but that could change in 2014.[2] Recently, GMO opponents have successfully enacted local bans in Jackson County and Josephine County, Oregon, and will now have the chance to do so in Maui County, Hawaii.[3]

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