Newswire

More than 69,000 additional signatures supporting the increase were delivered to the capitol building Monday.  That’s about 7,000 signatures more than needed to make it to the November ballot.

The proposal would raise Arkansas’ minimum hourly pay from $6.25 an hour to $7.50 on January first next year.  Then it goes to $8.00 flat in 2016 and up to $8.50 in 2017.

After failing in Albuquerque, two groups promoting a ballot initiative to reduce penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana appear likely to succeed in Santa Fe.

City Clerk Yolanda Vigil said Wednesday that ProgressNow New Mexico and Drug Policy Alliance are “extremely close” to getting the required number of valid petition signatures to force a vote on the issue.

The groups came up short in their initial attempt to get the initiative on the November general election ballot when they submitted 7,126 signatures July 15. Only 3,569 of those signatures were found to be valid, and the groups need at least 5,673 signatures from registered voters in the city to qualify.

The California Supreme Court on Monday halted state action on a non-binding ballot measure seeking voter opinion about a landmark U.S. Supreme Court campaign finance decision known as Citizens United, a move supporters and opponents agree will remove the measure from the November ballot.

The court ordered Secretary of State Debra Bowen to hold off placing the measure on the ballot pending court review. The measure, which asks Californians if Congress should overturn the landmark U.S. Supreme Court campaign finance decision, would have no binding legal effect, even if approved by the voters.

Read more: here

Oklahomans for Health must submit their initiative petition on medical marijuana to the Oklahoma Secretary of State by Friday. The group said late last week it had 120,000 of the 156,000 signatures to bring the initiative to a vote of the people.

The group claims to have registered a “record number” of new voters while gathering signatures.

Read More: here

Proponents for six ballot initiatives submitted petitions to the Colorado secretary of state Monday — the final day petitioners could submit them — though four of the measures could be retracted following announcements by Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.

Hickenlooper and Polis on Monday morning dropped their support of two initiatives meant to restrict oil and gas operations and asked that two initiatives supporting the industry be rescinded as well. The Democrats proposed that instead, a panel of experts develop ideas for the state legislature in hopes of creating future legislation.

The signatures for all six initiatives were submitted by organizers who hope to have their proposals added as ballot measures for the November election.

Freshmen Rep. Jeramey Anderson, who represents District 110 in the Mississippi Legislature, rallied his troops Saturday morning to garner signatures for a petition to support Initiative Measure No. 42, which would more adequately fund the state’s free public school system.

With the help of the Better Schools, Better Jobs Campaign, Initiative Measure 42 is aiming to fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. Similar signup drives are being held in other parts of the state.

Workers stood with placards from 9 a.m. until noon in front of the Scruggs Building, calling attention to the signup drive being conducted on the front porch and inside the facility.

By a 3-1 vote, the state Board of Canvassers failed to certify a petition that would put the issue of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour on the November ballot.

Three members — Chairwoman Colleen Pero and Norm Shinkle, both Republican appointees, and Jeannette Bradshaw, a Democratic appointee — voted against certification because they said it fell about 3,900 signatures short of the required number to qualify for the ballot.

That determination came after a challenge to the petition, which was turned in Wednesday — the deadline for challenges was July 11 — found enough duplicate signatures in the petition to knock it off the ballot.

Supporters of two ballot initiatives spent the last week gathering signatures at the North Dakota State Fair.

The Minot Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1qGfPfv) that petitions were circulated for one measure requiring North Dakota schools to start after labor day and another measure that would establish a trust fund for water, wildlife and parks projects.

The deadline to get an issue on the November ballot is Aug. 6.

Read More: here

Colorado campaigners have secured enough signatures to get two initiatives that would place restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state on the November ballot.

The measures need 86,105 signatures by Aug. 4, and Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy said it has well surpassed that mark. The effort, bankrolled in part by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., has roiled Colorado politics, where sitting Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall are both trying to win re-election.

An initiative seeking to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana in Oregon has qualified for the November ballot, the state said on its website on Tuesday.

Only two U.S. states, Washington and Colorado, currently allow recreational marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law. Oregon’s proposal will come before voters just two years after they rejected a similar measure.

“This is a moment we’ve been waiting for, that we’ve worked months to get to,” said Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for the campaign in favor of the Oregon initiative. Since 2012, when voters turned down a similar measure, public support has grown for legalized marijuana in the Pacific Northwest state, he said.