The name Wisconsin is practically synonymous with Progressivism, yet
this state has never had a statewide initiative and referendum process.
Indeed, it is one of only three states where voters turned down their
opportunity to get it (Texas and Rhode Island are the others). The
circumstances were as follows.

In 1907 Lieutenant Governor W. D. Connor and State Senator W. D.
Brazeau took up the cause and secured approval in the state senate by a
19 to 5 vote, but lost in the lower house. The Progressive reformers had

Some of our staff attended the Townhall Meeting in Reston, VA hosted by Congressman Jim Moran and Howard Dean on August 25th.  We asked some of the folks waiting outside what they thought about the initiative, referendum and recall process.  They all had great things to say and we found support for the process from both sides of the aisle.  Check out the video to hear what people said.

The Citizens in Charge Foundation page on the history of ballot initiative & referendum in New Jersey begins:

It is ironic that New Jersey, the state where the national initiative and
referendum movement originated, never adopted provisions for I&R.
Certainly it was not for lack of enthusiasm among New Jersey’s I&R

Health care reform continues to dominate the national discussion. Americans are considering all their options on how to pay for the reform and exactly how to improve the system. In Arizona the voters are trying to decide for themselves on how their state will deal with this important issue. They are showing their power at the ballot box.

In his daily commentary called Common Sense, Paul Jacob writes about Arizona and states:

Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert is betting on the success of a proposed ballot initiative that would put casinos in several Ohio cities.

Gilbert, a chief investor in the proposal, said Wednesday that an initiative to collect more than 400,000 signatures required to put the issue on the November ballot is nearly complete. The signatures are due July 1.

Read the story from USA Today

A petition drive for a ballot measure that would require voters to show a state-issued ID before voting will kick off statewide next month. Proponents are running the measure in response to the failure of a bill in the state House that would have created a voter ID requirement. Organizers will have one year to collect just over 90,000 valid signatures to place the measure on the 2010 ballot.

Read the story from the Desoto Times Tribune

By Christopher Cousins
State House Reporter

AUGUSTA (Feb 26): A proposed bill that would attach fiscal impact statements to citizen-led initiative questions is being championed by its sponsor as a move toward transparency. But opponents said it would unfairly put people or groups who bring such questions to the ballot box at a disadvantage.

A proposed bill that would attach fiscal impact statements to citizen-led initiative questions is being championed by its sponsor as a move toward transparency, but opponents said it would create an unfair disadvantage.

Based on ballot measures, voters in Appleton and Grand Chute figure to have the highest turnouts today in the Fox Cities.

Legislators like State Senator Frank Morse (R – Albany) and State Representative Larry Galizio (D – Tigard) Larry are talking about reforming the initiative process. For one thing, both want to give the Legislature a chance to review and react to any proposed initiative before it goes to the ballot; once signatures were gathered, the measure would not go directly to the voters, but would go to the Legislature first.

In addition, according to the Register-Guard:

Recent news reports indicate that efforts to reduce the number of bills submitted by Maine legislators have been successful — with the number of bills down 23 percent from the previous two-year session. But a close look at one bill moving forward this year illustrates that Maine’s legislative process remains fundamentally flawed.

With no extra money available to spend this session, legislators would be wise to work on legislation that makes a difference but doesn’t make a dent in the treasury. State Sen. Randy Brogdon is doing that with efforts to reform the initiative petition process in Oklahoma.

Brogdon, R-Owasso, has offered legislation that would reduce the number of signatures needed to send a proposal to a vote of the people, lengthen the amount of time allowed to collect signatures, and in general make the process a bit more user friendly for petitioners.