The Tuesday Count: Impeachment issue bumps up total by one
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Edited by Al Ortiz
The streak is at five. That is, for five consecutive weeks the Tuesday Count total has increased. The most recent ballot certification comes out of Nebraska. This bump heightens the count to 73 ballot measures in 27 states.
Nebraska lawmakers, in session since January 4, recently sent an impeachment-related ballot measure for voters to weigh in on this fall. If the measure, slated for the November 6, 2012 general election ballot, is enacted by voters, it would make any misdemeanor committed by a candidate while in pursuit of office grounds for impeachment.
The proposed legislatively-referred constitutional amendment would amend Section 5 of Article IV of the Constitution of Nebraska. In order to send this type of measure to the ballot, 60% of the members of the Nebraska State Legislature must vote in approval. The measure gained ballot access on March 1.
Meanwhile, another legislature is currently considering a proposal that deals with a political topic already found on that state's ballot. On March 6, the Rhode Island House of Representatives endorsed a proposal that would let voters decide whether to authorize a casino at the Newport Grand slot parlor.
The measure passed the chamber with a vote of 69-3 and moves to the state senate for a similar vote.
State voters are already going to chime in on another ballot question that would allow state-operated casino gambling at the Twin River venue. The proposal is a part of the $7.7 billion budget signed into law on June 30, 2011. The ballot measure is part of Article 25 of the budget known as H 5894.
While state lawmakers are working to place proposed laws and amendments on the ballot in 2012, citizens are doing the same with initiatives, particularly in the state of Arizona. An initiative recently filed with the Arizona Secretary of State's office is aiming to resuscitate the state's struggling economy.
The measure, which is sure to garner plenty of attention given its background, would renew a 2010 voter-approved one-cent sales tax to provide funding for education for students in the state who meet certain requirements, scholarships for college students and reinvestment in vocational education and new jobs, according to reports.
The initiative is officially called the Quality Education and Jobs Initiative by supporters. The 2010 sales tax measure found on the May 18, 2010 special election ballot attracted a vast amount of controversy two years ago. The proposal implemented an increase to the state sales tax by one percentage point, ending in 2013.
|Featured campaign quotes:|
|Oklahoma SQ 762 - Support|
| Speaker of the State House Kris Steele
|Oklahoma SQ 762 - Opposition|
| State Representative Jason Murphey
The constitutional amendment, which won with 64.3% of the vote, was supported by Gov. Jan Brewer, who wanted the Arizona State Legislature to vote to refer the proposal to the ballot as a means to alleviate the state's budget strain.
Supporters of the initiative to renew the sales tax must collect 259,213 valid signatures from registered voters by the July 5, 2012 petition drive deadline in order to make the ballot.
While supporters in Arizona have until that date to turn in petitions, supporters of proposed North Dakota ballot measures must turn in signatures by tomorrow's March 14 petition drive deadline. Check back here for updates throughout the day.
- Ohio Attorney General blocks referendum on marriage amendment: On Friday, March 9, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine rejected a petition by Freedom to Marry Ohio seeking to overturn an amendment to the Ohio constitution banning same-sex marriage. Attorney General DeWine said he could not approve the ballot language because the summary was too long and misrepresented the amendment in question.
- Debate over charter schools becoming expensive in Georgia: According to the Associated Press over $10,000 have been spent so far this year by lobbying groups fighting over the Georgia Charter Schools Amendment. According to reports, supporters of the amendment have spent at least $7,800 since January, while opponents of the measure have spent at least $2,400. The most costly event so far has been reported as a reception and showing of the pro-charter school documentary "Waiting for Superman" for lawmakers and others held on January 17. The event was hosted by the Georgia Charter Schools Association and cost more than $3,400.
|Proposals with recent activity|
- Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board announces investigation: On Friday, March 9, the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board announced it would commence with an investigation of two groups supporting the Minnesota Same-Sex Marriage Amendment. The announcement comes after the government watchdog group Common Cause Minnesota filed complaints against Minnesota for Marriage and the Minnesota Family Council, alleging that the two groups failed to disclose donors to their campaigns. John Helmberger, CEO of Minnesota Family Council and chair for Minnesota for Marriage, responded saying that although his group believes campaign finance laws to be unconstitutional, the groups have complied with them.
SPOTLIGHT:Illinois primary to focus on electrical aggregation proposals
Next week, March 20, Illinois will have its state primary and many communities across the state will vote on a wide variety of local issues.
A fair amount communities across the state will decide on electrical aggregation proposals. These measures would allow local officials to buy electricity in bulk for residents and allow for lower rates because of the bulk buying. Residents would be able to opt out of the programs if desired. Many areas in Illinois have already implemented aggregation and this election will likely see many more to follow.
Other issues to be voted on by residents include school bonds and taxes as well as municipal bonds and taxes. Most notably, Cook County has 98 issues in total to be decided throughout the county with 67 of those measures dealing with electrical aggregation proposals.
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BALLOT LAW UPDATE
Nebraska repeals residency requirement: Last Thursday, the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature passed Legislative Bill 759. The bill repeals the state's residency requirement--a law that prohibits out-of-state residents from gathering signatures for state ballot measures. The restriction was declared unconstitutional last year in Citizens in Charge v. Gale. Governor Dave Heineman (R) must still sign the bill.
- Official bill information can be found here.
| 2012 ballot measures|
|Tuesday Count • 2012 Scorecard|
- Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count for 2010
- Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count for 2011
- Ballotpedia's Tuesday Count for 2012
- 2012 ballot measures
- Local ballot measure elections in 2012
- Potential 2012 ballot measures
- ThinkProgress.org "Ohio’s Santorum-Supporting Attorney General Rejects Petition To Overturn Same-Sex Marriage Ban," March 12, 2012
- Associated Press "Thousands spent in charter school debate," March 11, 2012
- American Independent "Minn. board opens investigation into marriage amendment supporters," March 12, 2012
- Ballot Access News, "Nebraska Legislature Repeals In-State Residency Requirement for Circulators," March 8, 2012