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==Laws approved in 2012==
 
==Laws approved in 2012==
In 2012, the following I&R laws were approved:
 
 
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Revision as of 11:09, 6 February 2014

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This page lists changes and proposed changes in 2012 to laws governing the initiative and referendum process. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 68 laws affecting this process have been proposed in 21 states.[1] Given the complexity of the initiative process, these laws can address a wide range of initiative-related law, including:
  • The legal right of citizens to initiate statutes, amendments, or veto referendums.
  • Signature and distribution requirements for placing measures on the ballot.
  • Regulations governing signature collection and petition circulators.
  • Campaign finance requirements for initiative, referendum, and recall campaigns.
  • Administrative rules, involving filing deadlines, fiscal analyses, petition forms, etc...

Note: This list is based on the National Conference of State Legislatures I&R Legislation Database. This database is only periodically updated. For a smaller but more up-to-date list, see our Ballot Law Update. For the status of a single bill, click the title to view its state bill status page.

Legend
Simple icon time.svg = This legislation is still pending.
Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg = This legislation was carried over to the next session.
Approveda = This legislation was approved.
Defeatedd = This legislation was defeated.








Laws approved in 2012


  1. Arizona Senate Bill 1210 (2012)
  2. California Assembly Bill 1499 (2012)
  3. Colorado House Bill 1293 (2012)
  4. Idaho House Bill 452 (2012)
  5. Kentucky Senate Bill 123 (2012)
  6. Michigan House Bill 6060 (2012)
  7. Michigan Senate Bill 0824 (2012)
  8. Nebraska Legislative Bill 759 (2012)
  9. South Dakota House Bill 1186 (2012)
  10. South Dakota Senate Bill 70 (2012)
  11. Utah House Bill 119 (2012)

Legislation by state

Alabama

The following bills were introduced in the Alabama State Legislature:

Defeatedd HB 311: Creates a procedure for petitioning for the recall of incumbent elected officials.

Defeatedd HB 481: Creates a body called the Fair Ballot Commission to approve, along with the Attorney General, statements that explain what a measure being voted on represents.

Alaska

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Alaska

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the Alaska State Legislature.

Arizona

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Arizona

The following bills were introduced in the Arizona State Legislature:

Defeatedd HB 2291: Makes minor changes to petition form, adds space for email address (optional).

Defeatedd HCR 2005: Proposes two constitutional amendments. Bill description/summary: "Upon voter approval, creates two ballot measures requiring the reauthorization of initiatives and referendums that create a fund for public monies, dedicate public monies to a specific purpose or otherwise affect state General Fund (GF) revenues or expenditures after six years."

Defeatedd HCR 2020: Proposes an amendment to the Arizona Constitution to limit those eligible to sign recall petitions to qualified electors who voted in the last election at which the targeted office was filled. Also, the amendment would impose an in-district residency requirement on recall sponsors.

Approveda Arizona Senate Bill 1210 (2012): Confers on initiative proponents or primary legislative sponsors the right to intervene in the defense of a ballot measure.

Defeatedd SB 1428: Allows recall elections to take place outside of consolidated election dates.

Defeatedd SB 1430: Replaces the circulator's affidavit with a circulator's statement. Lying on the statement would remain a class 1 misdemeanor, but the document would not need to be notarized.

Defeatedd SB 1449: Establishes a primary and general election process for recall.

Defeatedd SCR 1031: Proposes a constitutional amendment requiring any measure that dedicates public funds to reauthorized by voters every 8 years.

Defeatedd SCR 1037: Proposes a constitutional amendment allowing the legislature to cut funding for an approved measure if the measure's specified revenue source fails to cover the measure's costs.

Arkansas

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Arkansas

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the Arkansas State Legislature.

California

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in California

The following bills were introduced in the California State Legislature:

Defeatedd AB 1648: Requires that a candidate or ballot measure appearing in the slate mailer be designated by an asterisk if the slate mailer organization or committee primarily formed to support or oppose one or more ballot measures that is sending the slate mailer has received payment to include the candidate or ballot measure in the slate mailer.

Defeatedd AB 2220: Requires an additional paragraph further detailing a ballot measure's impact on state funding to be added to the legislative analysis of the measure.

Defeatedd AB 2294: Makes technical, non-substantive changes to existing law authorizing a person who is a registered voter or who is qualified to register to vote in this state to circulate an initiative or referendum petition anywhere within the state.

Defeatedd ACR 95: Bill description/summary: "This measure would propose that the electors of the state vote at the next statewide general election on the question of whether to call a convention for the purpose of revising the California Constitution."

Defeatedd SB 1296: This bill would require the Legislative Analyst, instead of the Attorney General, to prepare the ballot title and summary for all measures submitted to the voters of the state and would require the Legislative Analyst, instead of the Department of Finance and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, to prepare any fiscal estimate or opinion required by a proposed initiative measure. The bill would also remove the requirement for the legislature to prepare an argument against any ballot measure it submits to the public.

Defeatedd SCA 19: Transfers the responsibility for writing ballot titles and summaries from the Attorney General to state legislative analyst. Sponsor Jean Fuller contends that the process would be better handled by a nonpartisan official. Attorney General Kamala Harris has been criticized for her handling of state ballot measures.[2]

Approveda California Assembly Bill 1499 (2012): Alters the appearance of ballot items so that all proposed constitutional amendments and bond measures, whether proposed by the legislative referrals or by citizen initiatives, would now appear near the top of statewide ballots.[3] The bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on June 27, 2012 and a lawsuit against it was filed shortly after.[4] The bill is similar to SB 1039

Colorado

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Colorado

The following bills were introduced in the Colorado General Assembly:

Defeatedd HB 1076: Bill description/summary: "The bill permits an initiative or referendum petition to include space for a registered elector to voluntarily include his or her telephone number, electronic mail address, or both. If a space for the information is included, a petition must clearly indicate that the information is not required in order for a registered elector to sign the petition."

Defeatedd HCR 1003: Proposes a constitutional amendment that would impose a 60% supermajority requirement on the passage of constitutional amendments. However, it would allowed voters to repeal amendments passed before 2013 with a simple majority. Although the supermajority requirement applies to both referred measures and initiated measures, the bill also imposes a distribution requirement on citizen initiated measures. The bill's demise came after a co-sponsor of the bill accused a committee member of "hijacking" the legislation. 80 Colorado amendments have been approved in the past 45 years.[5]

Approveda Colorado House Bill 1293 (2012): The bill makes various changes and clarifications in the laws governing recall elections.

Florida

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Florida

The following bills were introduced in the Florida State Legislature:

Defeatedd HJR 1231: Proposes a constitutional amendment to establish a state veto referendum process.

Defeatedd HJR 7: Proposes a constitutional amendment to establish a recall process for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, member of the Cabinet, and legislator.

Defeatedd SJR 1490: Proposes a constitutional amendment to establish a state veto referendum process.

Defeatedd SJR 422: Proposes a constitutional amendment to establish a recall process for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, member of the Cabinet, and legislator.

Idaho

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Idaho

The following bills were introduced in the Idaho State Legislature:

Approveda Idaho House Bill 452 (2012): Bill description/summary: "The legislation adds requirements of the taxing district to provide a statement as to the purpose for which the bonds are to be used, disclose the interest amount of the bonds, and to disclose when the bonds will be paid off or retired."

Illinois

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Illinois

The following bills were introduced in the Illinois State Legislature:

Defeatedd HB 5207: Provides that, if a statewide projection of valid signatures on a petition for a statewide advisory public question establishes a total number of valid petition signatures greater than 95.0% of the minimum number of signatures required to qualify the proposed statewide advisory public question (now, to qualify the proposed Constitutional amendment or statewide advisory public question) for the ballot, the results of the sample shall be considered inconclusive and the State Board of Elections shall issue a final order declaring the petition to be valid.

Defeatedd HB 4648: Provides for local recall elections.

Kentucky

The following bills were introduced in the Kentucky State Legislature:

Approveda Kentucky Senate Bill 123 (2012): Bill description/summary: "[Establishes] that referendum petition requirements include the printed name, signature, date of birth, residential address, and the date the petitioner signed the petition and [requires] that to be eligible to sign a referendum petition a person must live in the district or jurisdiction that will be effected by the referendum and be a registered voter."

Maine

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Maine

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the Maine State Legislature.

Maryland

The following bills were introduced in the Maryland State Legislature:

Defeatedd HB 1275: Bill description/summary: "Requires the State Board of Elections to make specified statements of contributions and expenditures for specified petitions available on its Internet site."

Defeatedd HB 312: Bill description/summary: "Prohibiting a person from willfully and knowingly obtaining or attempting to obtain a signature on a petition by threat, menace, or intimidation; and prohibiting a person from willfully and knowingly preventing, hindering, or delaying a person who has a lawful right to sign a petition from signing a petition through the use of fraud, duress, force, threat, menace, or intimidation."

Defeatedd HB 43: Bill description/summary: "Proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to provide that a law making a specified appropriation shall be subject to rejection or repeal by the voters of the State under the petition referendum process provided under the Maryland Constitution; and submitting the amendment to the qualified voters of the State for their adoption or rejection."

Defeatedd SB 349: Bill description/summary: "Prohibiting a person from willfully and knowingly obtaining or attempting to obtain a signature on a petition by threat, menace, or intimidation; and prohibiting a person from willfully and knowingly preventing, hindering, or delaying a person who has a lawful right to sign a petition from signing a petition through the use of fraud, duress, force, threat, menace, or intimidation."


Defeatedd HB 871: Bill description/summary: "Amending the Maryland Constitution to provide for the Initiative; recognizing the power of the people to petition to a vote a proposal to add to, amend, and repeal the Maryland Constitution or the public general laws under specified circumstances; prescribing requirements for the petition and for voting on the proposal; specifying that initiated proposals that are adopted may not be changed or repealed within 2 years except under specified circumstances; submitting the amendment to the qualified voters of the State of Maryland; etc."

Defeatedd SB 982: Bill description/summary: "Requires the State Board of Elections to make specified statements of contributions and expenditures for specified petitions available on its Internet site."

Massachusetts

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Massachusetts

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the Massachusetts State Legislature.

Michigan

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Michigan

The following bills were introduced in the Michigan State Legislature:

Approveda Michigan House Bill 6060 (2012): Tightens recall laws, making it more difficult to recall elected officials.


Approveda Michigan Senate Bill 0824 (2012): Revises the Michigan Campaign Finance Act with new specifications of the secretary of state's duties, as well as, new definitions and punishments for late reporting of campaign contributions.

Mississippi

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Mississippi

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the Mississippi State Legislature.

Missouri

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Missouri

The following bills were introduced in the Missouri State Legislature:

Defeatedd HJR 39: Proposes a constitutional amendment limiting the legislature's power to repeal or amend initiated statutes. To repeal or amend an initiated statutes the proportion of legislators voting in favor of the change must meet or exceed the percentage of voters who voted in favor of the initiative.

Defeatedd HJR 52: Proposes a constitutional amendment requiring any initiative related to the harvesting of "bird, fish, game, wildlife, or forestry resources" to receive a two-thirds majority vote at the ballot box. Initiatives concerning the creation, repeal, or modification of sales taxes collected for conservation are exempt from the requirement.

Defeatedd HJR 47: On April 13, the Missouri House passed House Joint Resolution 47 which would lower the state's Missouri signature requirements but institute a distribution requirement. HJR 47 is a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment and must be approved by the Senate and the voters in order to take effect.[6]

Defeatedd SB 808: Implements recall elections for U.S. Senators.

The bill's official summary:

This act authorizes legal voters to petition for a recall election for United States senators. Petitions shall be signed by at least 8% of voters in each of 3/4 of the congressional districts, the total number of voters being based on the number of votes cast for the incumbent at the last preceding election in which he or she was elected.
If an election is held, opposing candidates are then nominated as if in an election to fill a vacancy and the incumbent shall continue to serve until the election results are declared. The election shall be held on the next day available for holding public elections that occurs at least 10 weeks after the Secretary of State verifies the petition. Senators are only subject to one recall per term.

Montana

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Montana

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the Montana State Legislature.

Nebraska

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Nebraska

The following bills were introduced in the Nebraska State Legislature:

Approveda Nebraska Legislative Bill 759 (2012): Removes the state's residency requirement for petition circulators.

Nevada

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Nevada

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the Nevada State Legislature.

New Hampshire

The following bills were introduced in the New Hampshire State Legislature:

Defeatedd CACR 21: Proposes a constitutional amendment to establish a state veto referendum process.

New Jersey

The following bills were introduced in the New Jersey State Legislature:

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg A 1924: Bill description/summary: "Reduces number of signatures required on petition to recall elected official."

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg A 960: Requires the ballot summary for state general obligation bond act questions to include, "a. the total amount appropriated by the State in the prior fiscal year for payment of principal and interest due on State general obligation indebtedness and that amount stated on a State per capita basis; and b. the estimated total amount of principal and interest payments required to redeem the aggregate principal amount of State general obligation indebtedness proposed in the question based upon stated interest, term and redemption assumptions and that amount stated on a State per capita basis. Any projections required to be made in the fiscal statement shall be based upon the best information made available from the Department of Treasury." This bill is enabling legislation and requires the passage of a constitutional amendment.

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg ACR 51: Proposes a constitutional amendment creating initiative and veto referendum processes. The scope of these processes would be limited to "directing fiscal restraint."

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg ACR 72: Proposes a constitutional amendment to provide for state initiative and referendum.

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg ACR 77: Proposes a constitutional amendment establishing a veto referendum process for overturning New Jersey Supreme Court decisions or for repealing state statutes.

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg S 1454: Allows for earlier recall elections and lowers the signature requirement for recall petitions. This bill is enabling legislation and requires the passage of a constitutional amendment.

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg SCR 15: Proposes a constitutional amendment creating initiative and veto referendum processes. The scope of these processes would be limited to "directing fiscal restraint."

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg SCR 82: Proposes a constitutional amendment to lower the number of signatures required for recall petitions.

North Dakota

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in North Dakota

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the North Dakota State Legislature.

Ohio

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Ohio

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the Ohio State Legislature.

Oklahoma

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Oklahoma

The following bills were introduced in the Oklahoma State Legislature:

Defeatedd HJR 1068: Proposes a constitutional amendment to lower the signatures requirements for initiatives. Applies to constitutional amendments, statutory initiatives, and referendums.

Oregon

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Oregon

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the Oregon State Legislature.

Rhode Island

The following bills were introduced in the Rhode Island State Legislature:


Defeatedd SB 2164: Establishes an indirect initiative process for statutory measures. This bill is enabling legislation and requires the passage of a constitutional amendment.

Defeatedd SB 2166: Proposes a constitutional amendment to allow residents to initiate statutes and constitutional amendments.

Defeatedd SB 2231: Bill description/summary: "This act would require that written statements, both pro and con, for statewide referenda ballot measures be submitted to eligible voters"

South Dakota

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in South Dakota

The following bills were introduced in the South Dakota State Legislature:

Defeatedd HB 1072: Provides for the recall of county commissioners.

Approveda South Dakota House Bill 1186 (2012): Prohibits registered sex offenders from circulating petitions.

Approveda South Dakota Senate Bill 70 (2012): Revises the procedures for filing referred laws, initiated constitutional amendments, and initiated measures and revises certain election provisions and campaign finance requirements for referred laws, initiated constitutional amendments, and initiated measures.

Utah

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Utah

The following bills were introduced in the Utah State Legislature:

Approveda Utah House Bill 119 (2012): Requires the Lieutenant Governor of Utah to conduct a study regarding online signature gathering for ballot measure, new party, or candidate petitions.

Washington

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Washington

The following bills were introduced in the Washington State Legislature: Approveda HB 2499: Bill description/summary: "Requires political advertising costing one thousand dollars or more, supporting or opposing ballot measures sponsored by a political committee, to include certain information on the top five contributors."

Defeatedd HJR 4224: Bill description/summary: "Amends the Constitution to require the Secretary of State to reject any initiative for the ballot that will result in an increase in costs or expenditures of the state or local governments in excess of $5 million unless the initiative also specifies a tax increase or new tax to offset that increase."

Defeatedd SJR 8218: Requires initiatives to specify a funding source sufficient to cover any expenditures they require. Requires a fiscal impact statement for initiated measures.

West Virginia

The following bills were introduced in the West Virginia State Legislature:

Defeatedd HB 2393: Provides that "parties advocating passage or defeat of a public question by referendum vote" are subject to the state's reporting requirements.

Defeatedd HJR 27: SJR 4 companion bill.

Defeatedd SJR 4: Proposes a constitutional amendment to establish a process for initiative (statutes and amendments), veto referendum, and recall.

Wisconsin

The following bills were introduced in the Wisconsin State Legislature:

Defeatedd AB 441: Bill description/summary: "This bill prohibits any person from signing a petition for the recall of the same officer more than once during the same 60-day circulation period. Violators are guilty of a Class I felony and may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than three years and six months, or both. Currently, no such prohibition applies."

Defeatedd AB 472: Bill description/summary: "Under this bill, a person who offers anything of value to induce an elector to sign or refrain from signing a recall petition is...guilty of a Class I felony."

Defeatedd SB 367: Bill description/summary: "This bill prohibits any person from signing a petition for the recall of the same officer more than once during the same 60-day circulation period. Violators are guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. Currently, no such prohibition applies."

Defeatedd SB 374: Bill description/summary: "Under this bill, a person who offers anything of value to induce an elector to sign or refrain from signing a recall petition is...guilty of a Class I felony."

Defeatedd AB 545: Bill description/summary: "This bill prohibits any person from signing a petition for the recall of the same officer more than once during the same 60-day circulation period. Violators are guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. Currently, no such prohibition applies."

Defeatedd AJR 63: Bill description/summary: "Under this amendment, an elective officer may be recalled only if he or she has been charged with a serious crime or if a finding of probable cause has been made that he or she violated the state code of ethics."

Wyoming

See also: Laws governing the initiative process in Wyoming

As of July 2014, no bills were introduced in the Wyoming State Legislature.

See also

References