Pennsylvania ballot news archive
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is considering whether the Allegheny County election division improperly refused to certify an attempted 2008 veto referendum of the county's 7% drink tax. The group "Friends Against Counterproductive Taxation" collected signatures to put a tax reduction measure on the ballot, but the county refused to certify the measure, asserting that the county's home rule charter doesn't allow alcohol taxes to be addressed by this process.
Time extension for local referenda
Two state legislators may introduce legislation that would extend the time county residents have to petition a code home rule bill to referendum. The public currently has up to 40 days after a bill’s passage in a county to begin a petition drive. If 5 percent of the county’s registered voters sign the petition within 40 days, the petition effort now receives an additional 40 days. Signatures from 10 percent of registered voters are enough to secure a spot on the ballot in the next election.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court amends Commonwealth Court
On Tuesday November 20, 2007 the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the Commonwealth Court to issue a final written order breaking down the costs by category and a statement explaining the rationale behind the imposition of the costs. The amended order clarifies the rationale requiring Luzerne County Green Party co-chair Carl Romanelli to pay more than $80,000 in legal fees stemming from his failed effort to make the ballot in last year’s U.S. Senate race. This amended final order will give future candidates clarity with respect to what actions on their part might justify the imposition of fees and costs, the Supreme Court order stated.
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "County drink tax debated in state Supreme Court," March 5, 2009
- Cumberland Times-News, "Commissioners oppose time extension to petition code home rule bills," January 28, 2009
- State court wants court explanation of ruling requiring legal fee payment, The Citizens Voice, November 22, 2007