constitutional amendment

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers approved circulation of an initiative constitutional amendment to ease rules for petitioning in Michigan. The sponsors of the proposal, a group called Put the Citizens in Charge, have until July 7 to collect 322,000 valid signatures in order for the measure to appear on the ballot this November.

Reducing costs is at the heart of the issue.

“One of the biggest complaints people have about the initiative process is you have to have a lot of money involved,” Scott Tillman of Put the Citizens in Charge told Gongwer News Service.

The proposal also would allow the signatures of more voters to count on petitions, signatures that otherwise might be eliminated due to trivial errors.

Changing to a part-time Legislature in Michigan could appear on the November ballot if a group supporting the issue is able to gather about 400,000 signatures by July 7.

The Committee to Restore a Part-Time Legislature submitted petition language to the state Board of Canvassers last week to transform the Legislature from full-time to part-time status. The board will take up the petition Thursday

Under the proposal, the Legislature would meet for 60 days and the pay for lawmakers would be reduced from $71,685 to $35,000 a year.

Read More: here

A Ferndale man says he will lead an effort to amend the state’s constitution to strengthen the ability of citizens to use the ballot to repeal objectionable laws.

Bill Lucas, founder of Voters for Fair Use of Ballot Referendum, said his proposed change would allow Michigan voters to use a referendum to repeal any state law, even one with an appropriation attached.

The Board of State Canvassers is to consider the group’s proposed ballot petition at a meeting in Lansing Friday.

Read more at the: Detroit Free Press

Steven Allen Adams of the West Virginia Watchdog - a project of the Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia - and I talked yesterday about bringing ballot initiative and referendum rights to West Virginia (my home state). The first segment in a three-part on putting the voters in charge of the Mountain State is excerpted below:

An Oklahoma constitutional amend that would tie the number of signatures to the governor’s race in presidential election years has passed the House and Senate and will now go to the people for a vote. SJR 13 will effectively open up the initiative process since less people vote in races for governor than for president. The bill is part of a series that is aimed empowering citizens by opening up the state’s initiative process.

 

The Arkansas Senate State Agencies and Government Affairs Committee recommended six constitutional amendments to be considered in a joint meeting with a House committee next week. Among the proposals are repealing annual legislative sessions and constitutionally protecting hunting, fishing, and wildlife trapping.

Read the story from KSFM TV