Texas: I&R in El Paso

Tue, Feb 26 2013 — Source: El Paso Times

The ongoing litigation and petitions about the demolition of City Hall and construction of the ballpark raise important questions about initiative and referendum petitions. Regardless of their viewpoints on the merits of the issues, El Pasoans should understand the initiative and referendum process.

Initiative and referendum petitions are methods to allow direct citizen participation in the legislative process at state or local levels. Despite the fundamental nature of the right to vote, the right to an initiative or referendum is not a federally guaranteed right, nor is it guaranteed under the Texas Constitution.

The powers of initiative and referendum are considered powers reserved to the people by charter.