Local ballot measure elections in 2014
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2014 statewide ballot measures
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As of June 26, 2014, besides comprehensive coverage of California local measures, the Local Ballot Measure project is tracking 72 notable local measures and five local pension-related measures. In January, February, March, April, May and June of 2014 elections on 177 local measures were covered, with 135 approved and 42 defeated.
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 2014 as of the end of May 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.
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.
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.
Ballotpedia is covering the following notable local topics in detail in 2014:
- See also: Local fracking on the ballot
The first of at least seven 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.
Seven other anti-fracking measures have been proposed for this year, with many of initiative bans featured in California. Activists are sponsoring measures in:
Athens 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 exclude 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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 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.
Many other local minimum wage measures are expected for 2014 ballots. Check this page for the latest news on local efforts to effect changes in laws governing wages and pay.
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.
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 through out 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, has questions on the August 5, 2014 ballot in Hazel Park and Oak Park, with the rest of their efforts planned for the fall ballot.
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.
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 being in essential revenue to the city.
- 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.
Measure Y in Porterville was one element of the comprehensive charter reform recommended by the Porterville Charter Review Committee, which took for 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 creating, modifying or eliminating 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.
The most notable pension related measure of the year in California is slated for the November ballot in [Ventura County Sustainable Retirement System Pension Reform Initiative (November 2014)|Ventura County, California,]] where the Committee for Pension Fairness is 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 is currently being challenged in court, where the anticipated ruling will will set the stage for the possibilities of reform in many other counties throughout California.
- Ballotpedia did not cover any local ballot measure elections in January.
- Ballotpedia is currently not covering any local ballot measure elections in September. If there is a ballot measure that you would like to see Ballotpedia cover please email the Local Ballot Measure Project staff writer.
- 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, 2014 ballot measures in California
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Washington, D.C.
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Minnesota
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Maine
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Florida
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Colorado
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Ohio
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Michigan
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Hawaii
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Wisconsin
- November 4, 2014 ballot measures in Kansas
- 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.
- See also: Local ballot measures, Alaska
- See also: Local ballot measures, Arizona
- See also: Local ballot measures, California
- City of Oakland Police Services Parcel Tax and Parking Tax, Measure Z (November 2014)
- City of Union Flatlands Development Initiative, Measure KK (November 2014)
- City of Union Sales Tax Extension, Measure JJ (November 2014)
- City of Piedmont Elections Charter Amendment, Measure GG (November 2014)
- City of Newark Utility Tax Extension and Reduction, Measure Y (November 2014)
- See also: Local ballot measures, Colorado
- June 24, 2014 ballot measures in Colorado
- July 29, 2014 ballot measures in Colorado
- Town of Palmer Lake Marijuana Legalization Referendum, Question 1 (April 2014)
- City of Manitou Springs Retail Marijuana Ban (November 2014)
- City of Loveland Two Year Fracking Suspension Initiative, Question 1 (June 2014)
- See also: Local ballot measures, Florida
- City of Miami David Beckham's Soccer Stadium Referendum (November 2014)
- Alachua County Citizens United Advisory Referendum: "Corporations are not People, Money is not Speech" (November 2014)
- See also: Local ballot measures, Idaho
- City of Pocatello Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression Discrimination Referendum, Proposition 1 (May 2014)
- See also: Local ballot measures, Illinois
- Johnson County Fracking Ban Referendum (March 2014)
- City of Chicago $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Referendum (March 2014)
- See also: Local ballot measures, Kansas
- See also: Local ballot measures, Michigan
- City of Clare Marijuana Decriminalization Proposal (November 2014)
- City of Portage Marijuana Decriminalization Proposal (November 2014)
- City of Montrose Marijuana Decriminalization Proposal (November 2014)
- Grosse Pointe Park Marijuana Decriminalization Proposal (November 2014)
- City of Huntington Woods Marijuana Decriminalization Proposal (November 2014)
- See also: Local ballot measures, Minnesota
- See also: Local ballot measures, Missouri
- See also: Local ballot measures, Nebraska
- See also: Local ballot measures, Ohio
- City of Niles "Community Bill of Rights" Fracking Ban Initiative (November 2014)
- City of Athens Fracking Ban Proposal Initiative (November 2014)
- Youngstown "Community Bill of Rights" Fracking Ban Charter Amendment (May 2014)
- City of Columbus Blue Jackets’ Nationwide Arena Bailout Initiative (May 2014)
- See also: Local ballot measures, Oregon
- Benton County Genetically Modified Organism Ban (2014)
- Lane County Genetically Modified Organism Ban (2014)
- Josephine County Genetically Modified Organism Ban, Measure 17-58 (May 2014)
- Jackson County Genetically Modified Organism Ban, Measure 15-119 (May 2014)
- See also: Local ballot measures, Washington
- City of Seattle $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Increase Veto Referendum (November 2014)
- King County Transportation District Sales Tax and Vehicle Registration Fee, Proposition 1 (April 2014), Supporters
- King County Transportation District Sales Tax and Vehicle Registration Fee, Proposition 1 (April 2014)
- April 22, 2014 ballot measures in Washington
- City of Seattle $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage Initiative (November 2014)
- See also: Local ballot measures, Wisconsin
- City of Appleton $10.10 Per Hour State Minimum Wage Advisory Question (November 2014)
- City of Menasha $10.10 Per Hour State Minimum Wage Advisory Question (November 2014)
- City of Neenah $10.10 Per Hour State Minimum Wage Advisory Question (November 2014)
- Kenosha County $10.10 Per Hour State Minimum Wage Advisory Question (November 2014)
- Milwaukee County $10.10 Per Hour State Minimum Wage Advisory Question (November 2014)
Below are the most notable topics addressed on local ballot measures in 2014.
- see also: Fracking on the ballot
- See also: Local GMO on the ballot
- See also: Local marijuana on the ballot
- See also: Local marijuana tax on the ballot
- See also: Local wages and pay on the ballot
- See also: Local pensions on the ballot
- See also: Notable local measures on the ballot
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