Ward 2 City Councilman Ed Shadid is advocating for two initiative petitions filed Jan. 2. The first calls for citywide vote to prohibit use of sales taxes for a new downtown convention center and hotel. The second would end the MAPS 3 sales tax in 2015, instead of 2018.
If both measures secure ballot status and gain voter approval, the result could mean a sales tax cut for residents. Supporters will have 90 days to gather 6,000 valid signatures for each petition.
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A ballot measure that would criminalize abortion by granting “personhood” status to a human embryo is one of nearly a dozen proposals that Oklahoma lawmakers want to send to voters in November.
The personhood amendment is similar to a proposal that was rejected by Mississippi voters last year, but the author of the Oklahoma proposal, Rep. Mike Reynolds, said Monday that he’s modified the language to specify that the measure does not apply to miscarriages or to cases where the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.
Critics of redistricting filed an initiative petition on Wednesday seeking a statewide vote on a new process.Â They are trying to gather nearly 83,000 signatures to get the measure on the 2012 general election ballot.Â If the measure is approved by voters, it would toss out the recently drawn boundaries for legislative and congressional districts.
Oklahoma’s legislature wrapped up its 2011 legislative session Friday, and while the state still has arguably the toughest petition process in the nation, it didn’t get any tougher this year.
A letter sentÂ Wednesday to members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives byÂ Citizens in Charge President Paul Jacob shows increasing criticism of a plan by some Oklahoma legislators to make state petition proponents gather signatures based on congressional districts instead of statewide.
Patrick B. McGuiganÂ of CapitolBeatOK reports:
On March 3, the Oklahoma Senate passed SJR 37, which would make it more difficult for initiatives to get on the ballot. The bill adds a U.S. House district distribution requirement. Current law requires an initiative that changes an ordinary law to get the signatures of 8% of the last gubernatorial vote. The bill would provide that the petition would need 8% in each of the five districts. This is a proposed Constitutional change, and if it passes the House as well, would go on the ballot in November 2012. The vote in the Senate was 28-15.
In a story out of Oklahoma, a state representative is proposing a bill that would force those looking to put a measure on the ballot to also propose how to fund the measure. From the Tulsa Beacon:
State Question 744 could not have reached the ballot if legislation filed this month by state Rep. Pat Ownbey had been in place.
House Bill 1225 would require initiative petitions that mandate new spending to identify a funding source. Those submitting the petition would have to include a statement “outlining all sources of funding to be used in the measure.”
State Question 744 could not have reached the ballot if legislation filed this month by state Rep. Pat Ownbey had been in place. House Bill 1225 would require initiative petitions that mandate new spending to identify a funding source. Those submitting the petition would have to include a statement “outlining all sources of funding to be used in the measure.”
Oklahoma voters approved most of the 11 state questions that appeared on the ballot in the November 2nd general election. The two amendments, which addressed education spending and were the focus of statewide debates, were repelled.
With the defeat of two measures that would have curtailed Arizonans’ petition rights and the narrow passage of an amendment streamlining Oklahoma’s initiative process, yesterday’s election went quite well for petition rights advocates.
The Oklahoman has an editorial out today supporting passage of SQ 750 in order to make the state initiative process more open and accessible to citizens:
Citizens in Charge is running a radio ad in Oklahoma until election day urging state voters to vote ‘YES’ on State Question 750.
If passed, State Question 750 will streamline Oklahoma’s petition signature requirements for placing measures on the ballot and make it easier for citizens to utilize the process.
(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge, a national voter rights group focused on protecting the ballot initiative and referendum process, began running a radio ad in Oklahoma urging citizens to vote ”˜YES’ on State Question 750.
“Oklahoma is currently the most difficult state in the country for voters to place an initiative on the ballot,” said Citizens in Charge President Paul Jacob. “State Question 750 is an opportunity to make Oklahoma’s initiative and referendum process more open and accessible to citizens.”