Yesterday, Circuit Court Judge Mary McGowan issued an 11-page decision declaring Act 1413’s restrictions on initiative and referendum petitions to be unconstitutional and enjoining Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin from enforcing the 19-page law’s new “crushing” rules on paid and volunteer signature canvassers.
Act 1413 (Senate Bill 821) was passed at the behest of the state’s current duopoly gaming interests, who presumably wanted to foil any future attempts through ballot measures to permit competition. The law was offered officially as a way to fight fraud in the petition process, after a spate of allegations of fraud and forgery in several 2012 measures.
Yesterday, the Nevada Supreme Court heard oral arguments in People’s Legislature, et al, vs. Miller, a challenge to Nevada’s single-subject rule brought by attorney and activist Kermitt Waters. Waters is also a member of Citizens in Charge Foundation’s board of directors.
Nevada’s state constitution expressly limits legislative statutes to a single subject. Waters’ lawsuit argues that the legislation imposing the single-subject rule on citizen initiatives itself contained numerous subjects in violation of the constitution – and is, therefore, unconstitutional and should be declared null and void.
That would strike down the single-subject rule as applied to citizen initiatives.
Citizens of Sacramento, California, won’t get a vote on the city’s decision to use $258 million from taxpayers to fund the construction of a new arena for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley found the petitions forms contained too many errors, which violated state election laws.
In addition, Judge Frawley indicated he believed the proposed ballot measure would have violated the city’s charter, by inhibiting the council’s ability to manage the city’s finances.