Newswire

A proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution to impose term limits on lawmakers apparently has enough valid signatures to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Rupert Borsgmiller, executive director of the State Board of Elections, said Monday that a preliminary review of petitions filed by the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits showed that about 60 percent of the signatures on the petitions are valid.

Signatures are being collected in hopes of legalizing medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

At a kickoff petition drive Wednesday, supporters called on lawmakers to join their cause to allow voters to decide the issue.

Dozens of people gathered on the south steps of a quiet Capitol Building Wednesday afternoon. A few people arrived as early 10:30 a.m. Many of those in attendance made the trip to Oklahoma City from the Tulsa area.

Disabled veteran Eldon Lunsford of Nowata recently returned home from Denver’s 420 Rally. Lunsford told News 9 he can’t wait to return to his “mile high.”

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A pro-hunting coalition on Tuesday turned in 374,000 petition signatures to protect Michigan’s ability to have more gray wolf hunts, proposing a law to override two November ballot issues intended to stop wolf hunting.

Once the measure backed by Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management is certified — the group needs 258,000 valid signatures — the Republican-led Legislature will have 40 days while in session to vote.

If lawmakers approve it, the November ballot issues would become moot. If legislators do not vote, voters will see three wolf-hunting related proposals in November.

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More than half of the signatures collected to get a measure opposing genetically modified foods on the Nov. 4 ballot in Maui County were rejected.

Organizers collected more than 9,700 signatures, but the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday that the Maui County Clerk deemed about 5,000 of them invalid.

The initiative seeks to ban genetically modified organisms in Maui County.

To get on the general election ballot, an initiative petition must have about 8,500 valid signatures, or 20 percent of the number of people who voted in the last mayoral election.

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The first of almost a dozen ballot proposals to allow greater local control of oil and gas development cleared an important hurdle Friday, winning clearance from the Colorado Supreme Court.

Known as Initiative 75, for now, the proposed constitutional amendment would give local governments more control over businesses and corporations that impact the health and safety of a community. That would include oil and gas drilling and hydrolic fracturing operations, which are regulated at the state level with some input from local governments.

The Colorado Community Rights Network, which successfully backed voter-approved fracking regulations in Lafayette, is heading up the initiative.

Citizens in 26 states and thousands of cities have a greater voice than Alabamians because our legislative process permits trumping 9-5 working voices with well-funded special interest groups.  As a result, many citizens have apathetically surrendered their civic duty asking “Why vote, does it matter?”

It does matter.  Moreover, that solution is rests with our legislature.  The ability to create a “citizen friendly” state along with the “business friendly” state touted by Speaker Mike Hubbard is solely theirs.  Their unwillingness to provide citizens a vote on Initiative and Referendum (I&R), the capability for citizens to be more involved in state government, is self-preservation.

The group that wants to take the politically powerful process of drawing election maps away from Illinois lawmakers is facing more challenges after election authorities found that a majority of petition signatures needed to put the question to voters were invalid.

State Board of Elections executive director Rupert Borgsmiller said less than half of a 5 percent sample of signatures submitted by the “Yes for Independent Maps” campaign were valid — dealing a blow to an effort that already faces a court challenge in Chicago. But campaign officials say they’ve got enough valid signatures to put the constitutional amendment on the ballot in November and argue the state was “sloppy” in verifying signatures.

Some Maryland LGBT advocates have expressed concern over highlighting efforts to force a referendum on the state’s recently signed transgender rights law.

The Washington Blade obtained an e-mail that Brigida Krzysztofik of Gender Rights Maryland sent to Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, on May 14 after her organization sent a message to supporters asking them to report “petition-gatherers in your area.” NCTE asked its supporters to stop people from signing the petition and e-mail Keith Thirion of Equality Maryland to become more involved in the effort to defend the trans rights law.

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Some opponents of a Missouri income tax cut say they are weighing whether to pursue a referendum petition that would put the issue before voters.

The Republican-led Legislature enacted the tax cut earlier this month by overriding a veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The measure would gradually reduce Missouri’s top individual income tax rate and phase in a new business income deduction starting in 2017, as long as state revenues keep growing.

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It was a sunny day to drive out the darkness in politics.

That was part of the reason Carrie Potts sat at a table outside the Kalama Post Office on Tuesday. She was searching for signatures to help eventually roll back what she sees as the negative effects of unlimited and anonymous spending in elections.

As the Cowlitz County team leader for WAmend, Potts is the point person for the petition drive for Initiative 1329 — which seeks a place on the November ballot so Washington voters can decide if they want to advise the state’s Congressional delegation to get working on a Constitutional amendment drawing a line between human and corporate speech.