Local ballot measure elections in 2014

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2014 Local Ballot Measures
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This page is a summary of all the local 2014 ballot measure elections covered by Ballotpedia. Ballotpedia staff covers all local ballot measure elections in California and selected local ballot measures in other states on hot-button political topics. Local ballot measure elections occur in all 50 states.

As of September 15, 2014, besides comprehensive coverage of California local measures, the Local Ballot Measure project is tracking 103 notable local measures and eight local pension-related measures. In January through August of 2014, elections on 179 local measures were covered, with 137 approved and 42 defeated.[1]

On April 22, 2014, voters in King County defeated Proposition 1, which sought $130 million in new sales taxes and car tab revenue to fund the Metro system and road repair.

The May 20 election in Oregon featured two measures that garnered national attention as well as spending from national corporations. Voters in Jackson County and Johnson County chose to approve prohibitions against the production or cultivation of genetically modified organisms within county boundaries. Opponents of the bans spent nearly a million dollars to defeat them, making these races the biggest local ballot battles in the first half of 2014.

One hundred and forty-five local measures were presented to voters across California on June 3, 2014. Out of the total measures, 29 were defeated and 116 were approved. Other new and unique local ballot measures also popped up around the state.

Santa Barbara Measure M, a unique initiative, spearheaded by Santa Barbara County Supervisor Peter Adam, if approved, would have required the county to maintain all county-owned roads, parks and buildings in the same or better condition. Measure M was defeated.[2][3]

Perhaps the most notable measure on the ballot was approved in San Francisco, where voters saw a question to require voter approval for any construction project on the waterfront that exceeds current height zoning limits.[4][5]

After a year of delays and lawsuits, electors in Loveland, Colorado, finally cast votes on a two-year fracking suspension - Question 1. They narrowly defeated the measure on the controversial special election date of June 24, 2014.

Notable topics

Ballotpedia is covering the following notable local topics in detail in 2014:

Fracking

See also: Local fracking on the ballot

The first of at least ten 2014 local measures seeking a ban on fracking was defeated in Johnson County, Illinois, on March 18, 2014. Since then, two more local fracking bans were defeated, one in Loveland, Colorado, on June 24 and one in Youngstown, Ohio, on May 20.

At least seven other anti-fracking measures have been put on 2014 ballots, with many bans featured in California. Activists are sponsoring measures in:

Athens, Gates Mills and Niles, Ohio, will also be battle grounds for ballot fights over the fracking issue when voters cast their ballots on initiatives seeking community bills of rights that prohibit the contentious oil and gas extraction method.

Moreover, the residents of Denton, Texas, a city with at least 270 natural gas or oil wells, will have a chance in November to approve an initiative prohibiting fracking, which would make Denton the first city in Texas to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing.

GMOs

See also: Local GMO on the ballot

Two local initiatives banning genetically modified organisms have already been approved this year in Oregon, one in Jackson County and one in Josephine County. The Jackson County measure generated one of the largest amounts spent on any local ballot measure campaign as of July 31, 2014, at over $1.3 million, combining the support campaign and the deep-pocketed but unsuccessful opposition. Despite state legislation seeking to preclude local GMO bans, activists are trying to qualify similar measures for the fall ballot in Lane County and Benton County.

In neighboring California, activists were successful in putting a prohibition against GMOs before voters in Humboldt County, where the issue will be decided in the fall.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Hawaii, the first ever citizen initiative to qualify for a place on the Maui County ballot also seeks a moratorium on all genetic engineering and cultivation of genetically modified organisms. Anti-GMO activists expect a bitter battle, however, against bio-engineer, agro-chemical superpower Monsanto.

Minimum wage

See also: Local wages and pay on the ballot

In March, Chicago featured the first of many local measures concerning a minimum wage increase, where voters in a sampling of city precincts overwhelmingly approved an advisory question asking for a $15 per hour minimum wage for large companies.

Philadelphia voters were the next to speak out about minimum wage at the ballot box. On May 20, 2014, they overwhelmingly approved a measure that required the city to apply the same minimum wage that direct city contractors receive to indirect city contractors as well. This measure, combined with an executive order from Mayor Michael Nutter, will result in a minimum wage of $12.00 per hour beginning on January 1, 2015, for all direct and indirect city contractors.

Minimum wage is proving to be a hot button issue in 2014 and many other local measures will be seen seeking minimum wage increases. Measures are already scheduled to be seen on the ballot in San Francisco and San Diego, where competing measures will be seen by voters. Moreover, a minimum wage increase initiative will be voted on in Eureka, California, and a movement to seek statewide legislation on the issue through local advisory questions is underway in Wisconsin.

In Washington, where SeaTac City voters were the first to approve a $15 per hour minimum wage, compensation for low-wage workers has been an important issue. An initiative effort to increase the minimum wage in Seattle was rewarded by the city council approving a $15 per hour minimum wage itself, which was immediately challenged by an ultimately unsuccessful veto referendum.

Las Cruces, the second largest cities in New Mexico, also featured an initiative seeking a minimum wage increase on the November ballot. The measure qualified for the ballot, but it was approved directly by the city council, making an election unnecessary.

Many other local minimum wage measures are expected for 2014 ballots. Come back to this page for the latest news on local efforts to effect changes in laws governing wages and pay.

Marijuana

See also: Local marijuana on the ballot & Local marijuana tax on the ballot
Past local marijuana measures in Michigan

Marijuana has been a hot-button issue for ballot measures this year, with at least eight statewide ballot measure attempts concerning cannabis and potential taxes on the drug. Florida ballots will feature an amendment seeking to establish a right to medical marijuana. Meanwhile, voters in Alaska and Oregon will see the option to legalize marijuana according to state law.

On the local ballot, the issue is just as prevalent, with many city and county measures across the nation.

Recreational marijuana

In April of 2014, voters in Palmer Lake, Colorado, defeated a veto referendum targeting a local ban on recreational marijuana, leaving the prohibition intact. If they had approved the measure, the retail sale of recreational pot would have been legal according to both state law, through Amendment 64, and local law.

In a time when many cities and states seem to be moving towards legalization, an against-the-grain initiative certified for the November ballot in Manitou Springs, Colorado, will give voters a chance to outlaw the substance according to local law.

An organization called the Safer Michigan Coalition is running a 2014 movement to put legalization questions on 18 local ballots throughout Michigan, with the secondary intention of pressuring state legislators to legalize marijuana. The group, which has succeeded with legalization initiatives in 14 cities from 2004 through 2011, had questions on the August 5, 2014 ballot in Hazel Park and Oak Park, with the rest of their efforts planned for the fall ballot. Voters in both Hazel Park and Oak Park approved the proposals.

Three cities in Maine - Lewiston, South Portland and York - were targeted by the Maine branch of the Marijuana Policy Project for initiatives seeking to decriminalize or legalize cannabis.

Medical marijuana

N Means No campaign logo

Two measures concerning regulations and restrictions on the use of medical marijuana were intended for local California ballots in the first half of 2014, but only one, Measure N, made it to the ballot in Lake County, where voters narrowly upheld a regulatory ordinance - Ordinance 2997 - put forward by the county supervisors.[6]

Citizens for a Safer Lake County campaign logo

The measure that did not make the ballot was the second failed attempt at an initiative in the city of Imperial Beach seeking to allow a medical marijuana dispensary to operate within the city.[7]

Multiple measures concerning the regulation of medical marijuana in cities or counties throughout California are slated for the November 4, 2014 ballot. Some were proposed by county supervisors or city councils, others are citizen-initiated measures. In some cases, lawmaker-proposed laws conflict with initiatives, leaving the voters to decide a ballot battle with very outspoken sides. Watch this section of this page for a complete rundown of medical marijuana related measures as the 2014 general election approaches.

Marijuana tax

A Long Beach election in April of 2014 featured a marijuana tax measure, Measure A, that could restrict medical marijuana use through making it slightly more expensive. The possibility of keeping marijuana from needy patients through prices boosted by the tax was the basis for many of the unsuccessful arguments opponents used against what they called an unfair tax measure, which imposed a sales tax of 6 percent on all medical marijuana and gave the city power to raise the rate to a maximum of 10 percent. The measure also authorized an annual tax of at least $15 - with a potential maximum of $50 - per square foot for pot plant cultivation spaces in marijuana dispensaries. Many pro-marijuana activists were proponents of the tax, eager to pay taxes in exchange for seeing a legal medical marijuana presence in the city. Proponents generally argued that the tax would bring in essential revenue to the city.[8]

Pensions

See also: Local pensions on the ballot

Three pension related measures made local California ballots so far this year. All three were approved.

Measure A in Orange County was overwhelmingly approved on June 3, 2014. The Orange County system requires contributions to the public pension fund from both employees and employers. Prior to Measure A, however, the county was allowed to pay the employee contribution on behalf of many county officials. Measure A prohibited the county from paying the mandatory employee contributions to the pension fund for county supervisors or any other elected county officials.[9]

Measure Y in Porterville was one element of the comprehensive charter reform recommended by the Porterville Charter Review Committee, which took the form of 14 ballot measures. Measure Y ensured that the city's charter was consistent with the California Constitution with regard to pensions and pension benefit termination. It also affirmed that the city retained full power over its pension system, including the power to create, modify or eliminate pension and healthcare benefits, provided alterations are consistent with state law.

Piedmont City Measure A concerned the financial problem of unfunded pension liabilities. It authorized the city to issue $8 million in bonds in order to refinance a $7.8 million side fund debt owed to CalPERS, seeking a lower interest rate than the 7.5 percent that CalPERS was charging.

An initiative seeking to rollback public pension increases in Pacific Grove, California, from 2002 was removed from the November 4, 2014 ballot by a judicial ruling.

The most notable pension related measure of the year in California was slated for the November ballot in Ventura County, California, where the Committee for Pension Fairness was working with the Ventura County Taxpayers Association to move new county employees from a defined benefit plan to a 401(k)-style, defined contribution plan. The measure was ruled illegal in district court, where the ruling sharply limited the possibilities of reform in many other counties throughout California.

[[City of Phoenix Pension Reform Initiative, Proposition 487 (November 2014)|A similar measure - Proposition 487 - is on the ballot for voters in the city of Phoenix, Arizona, where a group called Citizens for Pension Reform, working with the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, collected over 54,000 signatures to qualify its initiative for an election.

Elections

January

Ballotpedia did not cover any local ballot measure elections in January.

February

4
11

March

4
18
Yes on Solana Beach Prop B campaign logo

April

1
8
22

May

6
Campaign logo of anti-fracking group in Butte County
20

June

3
24

July

8
29

August

5
7

September

2

October

Ballotpedia is currently not covering any local ballot measure elections in October. If there is a ballot measure that you would like to see Ballotpedia cover please email the Local Ballot Measure Project staff writer.

November

4
Image from Eureka Fair Wage Act website

December

Ballotpedia is currently not covering any local ballot measure elections in December. If there is a ballot measure that you would like to see Ballotpedia cover please email the Local Ballot Measure Project staff writer.

By state

Alaska

See also: Local ballot measures, Alaska
Map of Alaska.png

...click here for more 2014 Arizona local measures.

Arizona

See also: Local ballot measures, Arizona
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...click here for more 2014 Arizona local measures.

California

See also: Local ballot measures, California
California-county-map.gif

...click here for more 2014 California local measures.

Colorado

See also: Local ballot measures, Colorado
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...click here for more 2014 Colorado local measures.

Florida

See also: Local ballot measures, Florida
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...click here for more 2014 Florida local measures.

Idaho

See also: Local ballot measures, Idaho
Local ballot measures, Idaho

...click here for more 2014 Illinois local measures.

Illinois

See also: Local ballot measures, Illinois
Local ballot measures, Illinois

...click here for more 2014 Illinois local measures.

Kansas

See also: Local ballot measures, Kansas

...click here for more 2014 Kansas local measures.

Michigan

See also: Local ballot measures, Michigan
Michigan counties map.gif

...click here for more 2014 Michigan local measures.

Minnesota

See also: Local ballot measures, Minnesota
Link=Local ballot measures, Minnesota

...click here for more 2014 Minnesota local measures.

Missouri

See also: Local ballot measures, Missouri
Link=Local ballot measures, Missouri

...click here for more 2014 Missouri local measures.

Nebraska

See also: Local ballot measures, Nebraska
Ohio counties map.png

...click here for more 2014 Nebraska local measures.

Ohio

See also: Local ballot measures, Ohio
Ohio counties map.png

...click here for more 2014 Ohio local measures.

Oregon

See also: Local ballot measures, Oregon
Oregon counties map.png

...click here for more 2014 Oregon local measures.

Washington

See also: Local ballot measures, Washington
Map of State of Washington.png

...click here for more 2014 Washington local measures.

Wisconsin

See also: Local ballot measures, Wisconsin
Wisconsin county map.png

...click here for more 2014 Wisconsin local measures.

By topic

Below are the most notable topics addressed on local ballot measures in 2014.

See also: Political topics in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 & Notable local measures on the ballot.

Fracking

see also: Fracking on the ballot
Graphic by Anthony Freda

GMOs

See also: Local GMO on the ballot


Marijuana legalization

See also: Local marijuana on the ballot


Marijuana tax

See also: Local marijuana tax on the ballot
"Yes on Eureka Fair Wage Act" campaign art

Minimum wage

See also: Local wages and pay on the ballot


Pension

See also: Local pensions on the ballot
Phoenix Committee for Pension Reform campaign image

Development projects

See also: Local zoning, land use and development on the ballot


Miscellaneous

See also: Notable local measures on the ballot



See also



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