The Tuesday Count: Ballots set for November 2013 election
Edited by Brittany Clingenstatewide ballots are officially set in six states - Colorado, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington - for the general election on November 5, 2013. Going forward throughout the weeks preceding the election, Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count will be providing various reports and analyses of the measures that will appear on the ballot. For ongoing pre-election coverage, please see here.
2013 ballot issues
Following previous years' trends, taxes is one of the most prevalent issues on 2013 ballots, with five of the 31 measures addressing the topic. However, this year, taxes is sharing the title of most prevalent issue on the ballot with bond issues, as all of the five measures on the Maine ballot address this topic. Despite the fact that four of the six states with November 5, 2013 ballot measures don't feature any that address taxes, the two states whose ballots do contain tax issues - Colorado and Texas - have enough to make up for the other states' shortages. Both Colorado measures address taxes, one with regard to marijuana and the other education, while one-third of Texas' measures are devoted to the topic. In 2012, 33 measures addressed taxes in some form, while in 2011, an off-election year like 2013, eight measures dealt with the subject - the most for that year. In 2010, 40 measures dealing with taxes were placed on the ballot, again leading the tally. The 2009 ballots saw a six tax measures out of a total 32.
Hot-button issues such as same-sex marriage, marijuana and health care tend to steal the media spotlight, however, in 2013, Colorado's Amendment 66 received significant coverage in state-wide publications. The measure asks voters whether or not the tax rate should be increased in order to raise nearly $1 billion for public education funding.
NOTE: All measures, including legislative referrals and citizen initiatives are listed below. However, some measures may be listed more than once because they fall into more than one category. For a detailed number of measures and more information regarding the 2013 ballot, please visit the official 2013 ballot measure article.
|States:||Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana Nevada, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming|
Issues by the numbers
Labor unions square off with the city assembly and mayor in Anchorage, Alaska, but voters may decide the victor:
Ordinance 37, known as the "Responsible Labor Act," was proposed in February by Mayor Dan Sullivan in the face of upcoming scheduled collective bargaining with the city's nine labor unions. The act removed several of the unions powers and allowed the outsourcing of certain public services to the private sector. It was approved by the City Assembly in a 6-5 vote. The unions in Anchorage orchestrated a referendum petition effort and collected 22,136 signatures, which are currently being validated. If the required 7,124 valid signatures are found among those filed, citizens will get to decide whether to repeal Ordinance 37, by voting "yes," or approve it, by voting "no" in a veto referendum question.
Gerard Asselin, head of the coalition of unions behind the referendum, said, "On the part of the mayor and his administration, it's [Ordinance 37] an attack on unions. But the downstream effect is, and the reality is, it's an attack on employees themselves and their own stability."
Opponents of the referendum, who support Ordinance 37, argue that:
- the forced control of labor costs provided by Ord. 37 could allow more city employees to keep their jobs
- currently the union employees can threaten to strike or find other employment while the city has limited ability to seek other employees
- the removal of the protection of strikes from public unions allows the city some leverage in bargaining
- the financial well being of the whole city should trump the interests of a few thousand public employees
A groundbreaking court case, which was built up around this referendum effort, but transcends the labor related issues of Ordinance 37, is also underway in Alaska Supreme Court. Watch for developments here.
Ballot Law Update
Medicaid expansion measure receives go ahead in Ohio: On Thursday, September 19, the Ohio Ballot Board certified the petitions of a measure that seeks to expand the state's Medicaid program. Healthy Ohioans Work, the groups who is sponsoring the measure, says that they hope to not have to follow through with their proposal and instead wish to see the legislature step up and pass the bill themselves. The group says that the hope lawmakers will pass the expansion this fall in order to capture the federal funds that become available January 1, 2014. The measure was filed as an initiated state statute and will require 115,574 signatures to go before the legislature. If the legislature does not act, it will take another 115,574 signatures to place the issue on next year's ballot.
Ohio residency requirements challenged in court: On Friday, September 20, the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed a lawsuit in federal court against Senate Bill 47, a recently passed law that instates residency requirements on petition circulators. The bill also reduces the amount of time petitioners have to gather signatures. Ohio has had such a law in the past, but it was overturned in a federal court case in 2009. Reports indicate that SB 47 may be even stricter than the previous restrictions. A news release from the 1851 Center read: "Senate Bill 47 establishes an absolute prohibition of signature-gathering by anyone not residing in Ohio. This prohibits Ohioans from contracting with out-of-staters, even though there are virtually no Ohio businesses that offer petition circulation. Ohioans are also prohibited from seeking assistance from volunteers who do not reside in Ohio." Whether or not the lawsuit will be resolved in time to impact next year's potential ballot measures remains to be seen.
| 2013 ballot measures|
|Tuesday Count • 2013 Scorecard|
- Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count for 2013
- 2013 ballot measures & 2014
- Local ballot measure elections in 2013
- Potential 2013 ballot measures & 2014
- Anchorage Daily News, "Petition signatures submitted to contest city labor law," September 16, 2013
- KTVA, "Large Crowd of Union Members Protests Mayor’s Labor Ordinance at Assembly Meeting" accessed September 21, 2013
- EAGnews.org, "Anchorage mayor pushes through ordinance curbing union power, but voters will probably have the final say,"
- IdeaStream.org, "Medicaid Expansion Advocates Cleared To Begin Ballot Petition," September 19, 2013
- Citizens in Charge (blog), "Lawsuit Challenges Ohio Residency Law – Again," September 23, 2013