The Tuesday Count: 2011 certified total aching to increase with newly proposed measures
By Al Ortiz
Another week of Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count has passed, and the total number of certified measures still remains the same. Four total statewide questions are still certified in two states, but that could change soon as a Maine initiative's signatures have been certified, with the next step being a review from the state legislature. The slot machine facility proposal, which supporters turned in petitions days before the deadline, had signatures certified on February 4, 2011, the deadline for the secretary's office to do so. According to Stavros Mendros, organizer of the petition drive: "We're obviously delighted. We're ecstatic. We're ready to move forward with the next step."
The deadline for the secretary of state to certify signatures for a second initiative that filed signatures, a racino proposal, is February 18, 2011. The two citizen initiatives are indirect initiated state statutes, which means, in order to place them on the 2011 ballot a minimum of 58,054 valid signatures were required to be turned in. If the required amount of signatures are verified, the measures then go to the state legislature for review. If legislators don't vote to adopt a similar law, it will be placed on the November 2011 ballot.
In other 2011 ballot measure news, Ohio lawmakers are following the lead of states that voted on health care freedom amendments in 2010, as State Representative Ron Maag and other legislators will introduce a bill similar to its counterparts. According to Maag, "We introduced this legislation as a way of protecting the fundamental rights of Ohioans against bureaucratic power grabs." The legislators announced on February 2, 2011 that they would introduce the amendment in legislative session.
RECENT PROPOSALS: A peek into 2012
2012 is getting plenty of action in the ballot measure world, as 2011 state legislative sessions begin to churn out proposals early on. Two years after the Iowa Supreme Court struck down a ban on same-sex marriage, a proposal has been brought in front of the Iowa General Assembly in order to re-enact that ban by amending the Iowa Constitution.
On February 1, 2011, the Iowa House of Representatives voted 62-37 to approve the measure for the 2012 ballot. The House debated for three hours before the vote took place. However, before the measure can make the ballot, the Iowa State Senate must approve the measure with a similar vote on the proposal. A majority vote is required from the Iowa General Assembly in order to officially place a measure on the ballot for voters.
In Kentucky, it is rare for voters to see measures on their ballots, with only five measures appearing on the ballot in the last ten years. However, Kentucky lawmakers have begun state legislative session, and with it comes the issue of the right to hunt and fish. A measure that would ensure this right in the Kentucky Constitution has now been proposed. The measure, according to reports, has cleared the first hurdle in making its way to the 2012 statewide ballot. On February 8, 2011, the Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee voted to approve the measure, passing the amendment to the Kentucky House of Representatives for full debate and vote.
If 60% of the membership of each chamber of the Kentucky General Assembly approves, a proposed amendment goes on the ballot at the next general election during which members of the state legislature are up for election.
SPOTLIGHT: Flood of local measures overtake three states
Washington has the most ballot measures on local ballots, with 27 counties holding elections. Voters will decide on school bonds, school property taxes , district property taxes and other topics. The county with the most ballot measures on the ballot is a tie between Grant County and Lincoln County, which both have eight local measures for voters to decide on.
Ohio comes in a distant second with seven counties holding elections, while Missouri has six counties with elections being held.
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|Tuesday Count • 2011 Scorecard|