Press Release: Ballotpedia celebrates Earth Day with a list of the six best environmentally-focused ballot measures
Contact: Kelly O'Keefe
The six most notable, surprising and downright bizarre statewide ballot measures addressing environmental issues
Madison - April 18, 2013: In anticipation of Earth Day this Saturday, Ballotpedia compiled a list of the six most interesting ballot measures addressing environmental issues:
- For sale: Submerged lands
- In 1970, voters in Florida approved an amendment to the state constitution that restricted state sales of submerged lands to instances in which the sale is in the public interest.
- Beverage container refunds
- Did you ever look at a bottle or can and wonder why your state isn't one of the ones that allows a 5 or ten cent refund? Guess what, it might have been a ballot measure! Washington (in 1970), Alaska (in 1978) and Colorado (in 1982) defeated amendments that would have mandated a refund on beverage containers.
- Repealing wildlife regulations
- In 1940, voters in the Show Me state voted down a proposed measure that would have repealed the Wildlife and Forestry Code as well as all laws and regulations ordained and established by the Conservation Commission.
- Arizona's State sovereignty
- In 2012, Arizona voters struck down an amendment that would have given Arizona control over the state's natural resources, including land, air, water, minerals, and wildlife. Yes, that would likely have included Grand Canyon National Park.
- Outdoor advertising
- Voters in Missouri voted against a 2000 amendment that would have prohibited the construction of new outdoor advertising and restrict existing outdoor advertising along all national highway system highways in the state. Alaska faced a similar question two years earlier, and voters there opted to make the state "be forever free of billboards."
- Timber harvesting showdown in Maine
- In 1996, the issue of clear cutting and timber harvesting was on the Maine state ballot in a unique way. Voters had to choose one of three options: approve a proposed change to the laws that was initiated by a citizen petition (2A), approve a competing measure passed by the state legislature (2B), or reject both (2C). That year, the legislatively-referred measure passed with 47.4% of the vote. But because the measure did not receive a majority of the vote, it was re-submitted for the next statewide election as a separate measure. In 1997, the measure was defeated.
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Ballotpedia is a project of the Lucy Burns Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. The mission of the Lucy Burns Institute is to empower people to engage in democracy by delivering exceptionally high quality information that is easy to access. Toward that end, LBI publishes Ballotpedia, Judgepedia, and Policypedia, online resources that equip voter with the facts about local, state, and federal politics and policy. Since the organization’s founding in December 2006, LBI’s online articles have received nearly 400 million page views.
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