Dry counties could soon be a thing of the past in Arkansas. On November 4, voters will decide by ballot initiative whether or not to keep the current system of dry and mixed counties. Passage of the measure would effectively take away the power of counties to regulate their own alcohol sales. The Alcoholic Beverage Initiative is being met with resistance from religious groups, local rights groups, and the Arkansas Beverage Retailers Association.

CSG Energy and Environment

Ballot Measure 4 touches on a familiar topic to many Alaskans – the Bristol Bay.  The bay is a 36,000 square mile fisheries reserve established by the Alaska state legislature in 1972.  As part of the legislation it required that a surface entry permit for oil and gas on state owned or controlled lands be subject to approval of the legislature to protect the fishery.  Proposed...

Two firearms initiatives are on the upcoming November 2014 ballot in Washington State. Initiative 594 would require background checks on all gun purchasers and Initiative 591 would prevent the confiscation of firearms without due process and would also prevent the state from implementing background checks unless a federal standard is established.  

Several amendments on the 2013 ballot attracted significant attention, most notably a proposed Colorado amendment that would have raised income tax rates and increased school funding but was rejected by voters. Notable amendments approved by voters include a Texas amendment authorizing use of $2 billion from the state rainy day fund to pay for water projects, a New York amendment allowing operation of up to seven casinos and a New Jersey amendment increasing the minimum wage. The level of state constitutional amendment activity was on par with recent odd-year elections, with only five states considering amendments in 2013, and a good deal of attention focused on qualifying measures for the 2014 ballot.

Ballot initiatives in Colorado, North Dakota and Tennessee will ask voters to take a position on the issue of abortion on November 4, 2014.

The ...

California voters will have an opportunity on the November 2014 ballot to approve Proposition 45 requiring that the state insurance commissioner approve proposed increases in health insurance rates. The campaign for the proposition is led by Consumer Watchdog, a group that has taken on the automobile and home insurance industries previously.

In 35 other states,...

By John G. Matsusaka

Direct citizen participation in the lawmaking process is sometimes believed to be a modern invention that has only recently been grafted onto the “real”—representative— democracy of the country. The idea of citizen lawmaking, however, goes back to New England town meetings in the 18th century, and Massachusetts held a referendum to its constitution as early as 1780.

Transportation was on the ballot around the country in a variety of ways last week—both directly and indirectly. While most of the action was not at the state level, there were a number of mayoral contests, bond measures and local tax increases that could have a significant impact in communities across the nation. Here’s a roundup of what happened and what it all might mean.

Voters went to the polls yesterday for state and local elections around the nation. Despite the fact that turnout is generally lower in off years, several states had important initiatives on their ballots allowing citizens to determine the future of policies directly. Jennifer Horn covered these Monday in her 2013 preview.

Tomorrow is Election Day 2013, and just two states - Virginia and New Jersey - are holding statewide elections.  In addition, voters in several states will be considering ballot initiatives on a wide range of issues, including the taxation of marijuana, raising the minimum wage, mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods, and increased taxes to support public education.   <--break->

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