The Tuesday Count: measures certified, approved and repealed

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April 19, 2011

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By Bailey Ludlam

Odd-numbered year elections, also known as the "off-years," rarely feature hair-raising or controversial election races, let alone ballot measures. 2011 is proving to be no different.

The Tuesday Count remains unchanged at 6 certified measures for the eighth consecutive week. Historically, odd-numbered election years feature significantly fewer measures than even-numbered years. Since 1970 odd-numbered years have had an average of 46 ballot questions. In 2009, voters cast their ballots on a grand total of 32 questions.

On the other hand, ballots for 2012 continue to be filled. A proposed constitutional amendment to disallow the use of public money to fund political campaigns in Arizona bumped 2012 count to 16 certified questions on 10 statewide ballots.

The certification marks the first for Arizona. At least seven other amendments remain pending in the state legislature for the 2012 ballot.

Numerous measures moved forward in various states; a step closer to a public vote. In Nevada a proposed legislative bill (Senate Bill 495) introduced as a response to the certified sports arena ballot measure received approval by a Senate committee this week. The proposal would prohibit a special tax district in the state as well as prohibit the creation of an area in which the sales tax is higher than other parts of the county. The arena initiative, however, would allow a 20,000-seat sports arena on the Las Vegas Strip. Specifically, it would impose a 0.9 cent sales tax in a taxing district near the arena.

On the other side of the country, Florida legislators approved a proposed reform of the state supreme court. The latest version of the legislatively-referred constitutional amendment would add three justices to the seven-member court. Additionally, two divisions - civil and criminal - would be created within the high court with five justices each. The House voted 79-38 in favor of the proposed measure. It now remains pending in the Senate.

Not all measures received approvals this week. A proposed measure in Oklahoma to prohibit foreign laws from being enforced in state courtrooms died in the Senate after the Senate Rules Committee denied a hearing on the measure. The measure proposed to prohibit foreign laws from being enforced in state courtrooms. The measure was similar to State Question 755, which was enacted by voters in the 2010 general election and remains pending a lawsuit.


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SPOTLIGHT: Oregonians revisit income taxes on a local level
Just last year, voters across the state cast their ballots in favor of Measures 66 and 67. The measures asked voters if they supported Gov. Ted Kulongoski's 2009 decision to increase taxes in the state by $733 million through increasing the state’s corporate minimum tax, raising taxes on the state’s high-income individuals and raising income taxes on businesses.

In a month on May 17, Oregon voters will yet again cast their vote on an income tax issue. This time, the topic is localized to Eugene City. This measure seeks to implement a city wide income tax set at a rate ranging from a .49 percent to .9 percent increase. The money from this tax addition would go towards helping the Eugene and Bethel school districts raising around $16.8 million a year for the two. The tax would be in place for a period of four years and would help with budget shortfalls, maintaining school programs and staff.

Debates are scheduled for April 19 and 29. The goal of the debates, according to reports, is to inform voters about the issue and have both sides share their views on the issue.[2]

See also

2011 ballot measures
Tuesday Count2011 Scorecard