The Tuesday Count: five state measures move forward to ballots for 2012
By Bailey Ludlam
Certifications are rolling in. In the last week, the Tuesday Count for 2012 has skyrocketed to a total of 21 certified measures in 11 states; an increase of five measures. If 2010 can be used as an indicator, then we can expect to see roughly an additional 40-50 measures certified for ballots as January 2012 kicks off the even-numbered election season.
Administrative issues are the focus in North Dakota. Two measures were referred to the ballot this week. The State Office Appointment Amendment asks voters if state legislators should be allowed to be appointed to other government offices. On a related note, the proposed Oaths of Office Amendment asks if the governor and other executive officials should be required to take an oath of office.
Joining the batch of legislatively-referred constitutional amendments that were referred to the ballot this week; Oklahoma lawmakers ask voters if annual increases in property taxes should be prohibited. The bill, HJR 1002, which got final approval on April 21, 2011, will ask voters to put a 3 percent annual cap on future property tax increases. The cap is currently at 5 percent.
- Rhode Island Casino Gambling Amendment - could appear on the 2012 ballot or a 2011 special election ballot. If referred to the ballot, the proposed measure would ask voters if they want state-operated casino gambling at the Twin River slot venue.
- Arkansas Marijuana Legalization Study Initiative (2012) - would establish the Cannabis and Hemp Authority to research the effects of marijuana for medical, recreational and agricultural purposes. It is being sponsored by the Mountain Home Teapot Party, which submitted ballot language to the Arkansas Attorney General on April 20, 2011 in order to gain petition circulation approval.
SPOTLIGHT: Déjà vu - measures revisit local Washington ballots
Voters in at least 15 counties in the State of Washington are casting their ballots on numerous school bond and tax levy measures today. Some questions may even appear a little familiar. At least three of the proposed questions have appeared on the ballot earlier this year.
- This will be the second attempt by the school district to get this bond measure approved by voters. It will ask again for approval of a bond, this time a few million lower, in the amount of $39 million in order to help pay for building a new High school in the district. State funds would match the bond measure costs lessening the financial burden on residents. A levy of $2.35 per $1,000 of assessed property value would also be implemented to help pay for the bond as well.
- This measure seeks to issue a bond in the amount of $56.2 million in order to pay for equipping and replacing the elementary school, make safety and technology upgrades as well as make other capital improvements in the district as needed. This will be the second time the district will ask for this bond, the previous vote failed by just two votes.
- This is the second attempt by the school district to get this measure approved. This measure seeks to create a bond measure in the amount of $40 million in order to help construct and make improvements to school facilities in the district. The previous vote in February resulted in 58% approval, but it needed 60% to be approved.
BALLOT LAW UPDATE
Bill to watch: Missouri House Joint Resolution 16 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would change Missouri's geographic distribution requirement. Currently, petitioners must collect signatures equaling 8% of the vote cast for governor in six of the state's nine US Congressional districts. Under the proposed amendment, petitioners would have to collect these signatures in all nine of the districts.
Recently approved legislation: Montana House Bill 391 (2011) was passed by the Montana Legislature on March 28, 2011 and has since become law. The law prohibits local ballot measure from setting the enforcement priority of state laws. The law is seen as targeting a local ballot measure which instructed local law enforcement to make marijuana laws their lowest priority.
| 2011 ballot measures|
|Tuesday Count • 2011 Scorecard|
- 2011 ballot measures and 2012 ballot measures
- Local ballot measure elections in 2011
- Potential 2011 ballot measures and Potential 2012 ballot measures