The Washington Retail Association recently expressed misgivings about the protections for petitioning found in Initiative 517. Last year, the group of retailers praised the initiative process based on their strong support for I-1185, which required a vote of the people or a two-thirds legislative majority for any tax increase, but on the heels of activists turning in nearly 350,000 signatures last week to put the initiative reform measure on this November’s ballot, the WRA argues that allowing petitioners to gather signatures outside their establishments may be going too far.

A group of Republican Party notables has filed an initiative seeking to change the way Utah political parties nominate their candidates. The initiative would allow candidates to put their names on primary election ballots by either winning a vote at a party convention or by petitioning their way onto the ballot, but would mandate that a party’s nominee be chosen at the primary election.

Yesterday, supporters of Initiative Measure turned in 345,000 signatures to the Secretary of State in Olympia, Washington, to put the measure on the November, 2013 ballot.

Tim Eyman, the state’s most prolific initiative proponent and leader of Voters Want More Choices, addressed the media at a news conference following the submission. Eyman was joined by Paul Jacob, president of Citizens in Charge, the initiative’s largest financial backer, and Edward Agazarm, former head of Citizens Solutions, a petition management firm.

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New Eyman initiative would protect petitioners

“The first power reserved by the people is the initiative.”

So promises the Washington State constitution.  However, it is increasingly difficult for citizens to exercise their power to petition the government, as also provided for in the U.S. Constitution.

Initiative 517, which will turn in petition signatures next week in hopes of earning a place on the November 2013 ballot, seeks to protect the right of Washington State citizens to their initiative process.

Michigan’s Legislature enacted “Right-to-Work” legislation this week, sparking renewed debate about public policy regarding unions. Here’s a quick review of recent ballot measures having to do with organized labor.


Ohio “State Senate Bill 5” Veto Referendum, Issue 2 (2011)

The 100th Anniversary Celebration of California’s Initiative & Referendum held in Sacramento on October 10 was a great success. Citizens in Charge Foundation, our partner organization, was joined by over 100 Californians to commemorate the centennial and transpartisan dialogue ensued throughout the day-long forum and early evening reception hosted by The Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco.

An article in today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on the broad-based coalition supporting a new initiative – the Your Vote Counts Act – that would make it harder for legislators to overturn an initiative without sending it back to the people for their approval.

Citizens in Charge has endorsed the ballot measure and is working with individuals and groups in the Show Me state, all across the political spectrum, to gather the signatures required to place the measure on the 2012 ballot.

New Jersey citizens went to the polls yesterday in local elections across the state. The big items on the ballot were school budget referenda, and from the looks of things New Jersey voters made very clear their views on spending in the state:

New Jersey voters took a stand on school spending and property taxes Tuesday, rejecting 260 of 479 school budgets across 19 counties, according to unofficial results in statewide school elections.

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:

Because Hawaiians have no statewide initiative or referendum rights, the Aloha State earned a “D” on our recently released state-by-state report card on initiative and referendum rights. We like to think that the state’s poor performance will prompt action to give the people more of a voice in government by creating an open and accessible initiative process. Unfortunately, at least one talking head in the state doesn’t want the people to have a greater say in their state government.

In the “Initiative & Referendum Almanac”, the principle reference text for those of us in the world of initiative and referendum, the section on New Jersey history starts out noting that “It is ironic that New Jersey, the state where the national initiative and referendum movement originated, never adopted provisions for I&R.” It’s not only ironic, but sad, because like citizens in the other 25 states that don’t recognize initiative and referendum rights, New Jersey citizens could ce

This video is getting multiple airs during prime time on St. Louis TV news.  KTVI-TV covers Fox 2 Newsthe efforts of a Missouri group to qualify a constitutional amendment for this fall’s ballot.

August 25th Townhall Meeting

Fri, Nov 20 by Anonymous

We asked attendees what they thought about the initiative, referendum and recall process.

Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob discusses what is on the ballot around the country in 2009. Part I discusses states with Legislative Referral measures on the ballot and the citizen initiatives in Maine. Part II will discuss Ohio and Washington.

If Connecticut had state-wide initiative & referendum rights, citizens could hold accountable a government that promised not to raise the state’s tax level above a certain percentage.

Citizens in Charge Foundation President Paul Jacob, recently wrote one of his daily Common Sense columns about Connecticut’s tax troubles and the affect they can have on a state:

Connecticut used to be one of the go-to places for escaping state income taxes.