On October 10, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill passed by the California State Assembly that will automatically register to vote all eligible voters when they obtain or renew their driver’s licenses at any California Department of Motor Vehicles branch, instead of requiring them to fill out a form. Those eligible may opt out of voter registration and those existing registered voters will still be able to change party affiliation or cancel their registration entirely.  Approximately 6.6 million unregistered but...

A ballot initiative to establish a single-payer health care system in Colorado has been approved for the Nov. 2016 ballot. Supporters turned in 158,831 signatures and after reviewing a five percent sample, the secretary of state’s office certified Initiative 20, the “State Health Care System.”

As I wrote last week, Tuesday was a big Election Day for transportation in a number of places around the country. Statewide ballot measures, for example, won approval in Maine and Texas and local measures were approved in Seattle, two Colorado towns and a handful of Utah counties. But it wasn’t just at the ballot box that transportation was a focus of policy decisions. The U.S. House of Representatives worked their way toward passage of a long-term transportation bill. And Michigan lawmakers approved a long-in-the-works, $1.2 billion road funding bill that includes the eighth gas tax increase approved by a state this year. Here’s a roundup of transportation-related election results and updates on some of this week’s other key transportation developments.

Voters looked favorably on ballot propositions in 2014, approving 67 percent of the 158 measures they decided. Marijuana advocates scored important victories in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., and minimum wage advocates continued their unbroken run of successful measures in five more states.

The opinion upholds the constitutionality of the redistricting commission as a method to draw congressional and legislative redistricting lines after a Census.     

In 5-4 decision in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission the Court held that the Constitution’s Elections Clause permits voters to vest congressional redistricting authority entirely in an independent commission.   

In 2000 Arizona voters adopted Proposition 106 which places all federal redistricting authority in an independent commission. The Elections Clause states:  "[t]he Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations . . . .”

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.

CSG Midwest logo
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...