Ballot Initiatives

More than a dozen state legislatures appear poised to consider gas tax increases this year, but Michigan will take a path less traveled when voters go to the polls May 5 to consider a complicated ballot measure that would provide an extra $1.2 billion a year for state roads.

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Due to a mix of legislative actions and ballot initiatives this year, the minimum wage for workers has recently increased in two Midwestern states and will rise in two others starting in 2015. Proposed wage hikes appeared on ballots in Nebraska and South Dakota in November and won by comfortable margins.

On Nov. 4 Oregon voters rejected a contentious state law that would have granted driver’s cards to Oregonians who can’t prove legal residency. The legislature passed the bill in 2013, but opponents of the law gathered enough signatures to send the measure to the polls as a ballot initiative. With two-thirds of the vote in dissension, the law was stopped dead in its tracks. 

In order to secure an alternative driver'...

Legalization of statewide sales of alcohol in Arkansas failed to pass On November 4. Voters decided by ballot initiative whether or not to keep the current system of dry and mixed counties. Passage of the measure came up short, with 57 percent of voters saying ‘No’ to the change.  

Supporters of the amendment cited...

Arizona’s Prop 122 – allowing the state to refuse funding for federal regulations – passed on Tuesday by the slimmest of margins, garnering 51.4 percent of the vote. The broadly defined amendment now gives the state authority to essentially nullify federal regulations and mandates by declining to dedicate state resources for enforcement.

Voters in two states—Colorado and Oregon—rejected initiatives that would have required labeling for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on November 4, 2014.

Washington voters have chosen to increase background checks for firearm sales and transfers, voting 59.5% in favor of Initiative 594.

On November 4, North Dakota voters rejected Initiated Statutory Measure 6, which aimed to create a legal presumption that unless one parent is deemed unfit, both parents are granted equal parental rights and responsibilities, primary residential responsibility and decision-making responsibility of a child.


Scheduled land preservation will continue in the state of New Jersey after voters passed Public Question No. 2 by nearly 65% of the vote.    The Measure amends the state’s constitution to allocate a percent of the Corporation Business Tax revenue towards the preservation of open space, farmland and historic sites through 2045. 

Land preservation projects in the Garden State had come to a halt after exhausting the $400 million set aside for...

Last Tuesday, Alaska voters approved a ballot measure requiring the Alaska legislature to approve future large-scale metallic sulfide mines within the watershed of the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve.  Ballot Measure 4 passed with 65% of the vote.

Prior to the election supporters of the measure had spent just over $1.2 million according to campaign finance disclosure...