A group of local residents, led by Tom Jamieson and Ginny Scantlebury, have joined forces with the bag ban activist group Save Our Choice to seek repeal of Shoreline’s new plastic bag ban.

Ordinance No. 653, which regulates the distribution of plastic and paper carryout bags by Shoreline retail establishments was adopted by the Shoreline City Council on April 29, 2013. The new regulations become effective on February 1, 2014.

Read More: here

A senate panel voted Wednesday to throw some additional hurdles in the path of Arizonans who want to write their own laws.

Existing law already has a set of requirements for putting a measure on the ballot to propose a new statute or constitutional amendment. These include for who can circulate petitions, what has to be on each page and how many names can be on each sheet.

Arizona is trying to sneak one in on us! Just this week – a full month after the legislature’s target date for adjourning this year’s session – a new bill has been introduced, Senate Bill 1493, which tosses caltrops in the path of citizens petitioning for initiatives, referendums or recalls.

In an April 26 editorial, The Spokesman-Review advanced several arguments on why it thought the Clean and Fair Elections Ordinance should not become the law in Spokane. As a member of the group that sponsored that ballot initiative, I assure you we are anxious to respond to those arguments.

However, an election campaign is the time for that. The issue at hand now is whether or not the voters should have the right to vote on this at all. It appears that some on the Spokane City Council and The Spokesman-Review editorial board feel they should not; that this initiative should be stopped before it goes on the ballot.

Read More: Here

Maryland resident Sue Payne has laid the ground work to create a referendum petition to put to a vote the Old Line State’s new laws relating to gun control. Payne plans to use a website so residents can download and sign the petition to attempt to get the measure on 2014’s ballot.

The petition would need to have 55,000 verified signatures  into the State Board of Elections by the end of June.

Maryland’s residents successfully put 3 referendums on the ballot in 2012. A number of bills to make the referendum process more difficult were defeated in the legislature earlier this year.

Read More: Here

The Municipality of Anchorage has again rejected a petition to place a referendum repealing Mayor Dan Sullivan’s controversial labor ordinance on the city ballot, naming some of the same causes from its first refusal two weeks ago.

In a Monday memo to acting Municipal Clerk Amanda Moser, City Attorney Dennis Wheeler says the revised version of the referendum, submitted by sponsor Andy Holleman and other backers, properly cites Assembly Ordinance 37 and omits inaccurate supporting statements — reasons also cited as a reason for refusal of the previous referendum.

Michigan voters are seeking to correct a flaw in the state’s referendum laws. Ferndale, Michigan-based Voters for Fair Use of Ballot Referendum are launching their drive to collect signatures on a petition to alter the Wolverine State’s constitution, removing a roadblock in the referendum petition process.

As it currently stands, Michigan law prevents referendums on statutes that contain appropriations. Last fall, Michigan’s controversial right-to-work law purposely added an appropriations in order to block citizens from exercising their right to the “People’s Veto”.

A group plans to start collecting signatures for a ballot measure that would let Michigan voters repeal laws made referendum-proof with appropriations.

Ferndale-based Voters for Fair Use of Ballot Referendum plan to kick off its signature gathering at Detroit-area post offices on Thursday. Backers need nearly 323,000 valid signatures to put the constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot.

Read more: Here

The Oaklawn and Southland casinos, gas lobby and other business interests are in a House committee this morning with an 11th-hour amendment to SB 821 to strangle the ballot referendum process. This is on top of a constitutional amendment aimed at the same thing.

The amendment heaps more requirements and expenses on sponsors of ballot initiatives. It does remove the provision prohibiting payment to canvassers based on number of signatures gathered.

Duopoly casinos, rapacious gas and pipeline companies and the usual corporate interests DO NOT like that grassroot groups might propose laws that affect their business. They want to chill it.

A Joint committee of the legislature referred two more proposed constitutional amendments for potential voter consideration and failed a measure previously expected to easily garner committee support.

The committee has also pushed through a proposal that could change Arkansas’ term limit rules.

On Wednesday (April 10), the panel could not muster enough votes to allow SJR 5, a tort reform proposal, out of the committee. The proposed constitutional amendment had a competing measure and a rift in the legal community complicated its passage. At the beginning of the session, there appeared to be consensus and momentum for a rewrite of the state’s tort laws.

Read more: Here at the City Wire

When we talk about initiatives and referendums we have a tendency to think of issues on a state level. We often hear about issues that influence states such as California, Colorado, and Oregon to name a few states that have had recent state-led votes on issues that people want to see changed within those states. But people-led issues aren’t limited to just states ”” they also apply to local issues at the city level.

Read more: here

The contentious AO-37, the labor law overhaul that passed the Anchorage Assembly on March 26, profoundly changed the rules for how the city negotiates with its unions. Now opponents are continuing the fight against it with a referendum petition that would suspend the ordinance and put AO-37 to the voters.

Andy Holleman is the president of the Anchorage Education Association. As the head of the city’s teacher unions, the city’s labor laws don’t affect his members; they contract with the school board, and not the city. But Holleman is spearheading the fight against AO-37.

Read more from KTVA Alaska

State Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. last week conceded the obvious: Legislation to obstruct the petitioning of new laws onto the ballot ”” specifically, the brazenly misnamed Referendum Integrity Act ”” is going nowhere this year.

Still, Miller, talking to Maryland Reporter, couldn’t resist taking up the issue once again.


Referendums, he now says, were “taken to the extreme in the last election … We don’t need every issue subject to referendum ”” that would weigh down the democratic process, and make long lines at the polling place.”

Legislation signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich on March 22 has infuriated Democrats and advocacy groups who say it will make it harder for voters to repeal laws and introduce their own.

Senate Bill 47, sponsored by Sen. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati, sets strict rules on the time organizers have to collect signatures when mounting a petition drive to strike down laws. The bill, which passed swiftly through the legislature, will essentially cut at least two weeks from the existing timetable.

Read More at the Plain Dealer

Maryland’s House Bill 493 is not dead yet asserts Election Law Subcommittee Chairman Jon Cardin (D-Baltimore County), a co-sponsor.  However, the bill is currently mired in his subcommittee with Cardin conceding that the bill needs amendments for “stakeholders” to consider its passage, and that the chances of it moving forward in the 13 days left in the legislative session have “decreased.”