Ryan Byrne

Ryan Byrne is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at

About 1.7 million signatures filed for second version of California split roll tax initiative

On April 2, 2020, the campaign Schools and Communities First reported filing 1.7 million signatures for a ballot initiative to require commercial and industrial properties, except those zoned as commercial agriculture, to be taxed based on their market value, rather than their purchase price. At least 997,139 signatures need to be valid. The ballot initiative is the campaign’s second version of a proposal to enact what is known as split roll in California.

The first version of the ballot initiative (17-0055) qualified for the ballot on October 15, 2018. On August 13, 2019, the campaign Schools and Communities First, which is behind the proposal, announced that signatures would be collected for a revised version of the ballot initiative (19-0008). Tyler Law, a campaign spokesperson, said that the campaign would not withdraw the qualified initiative from the ballot until the revised initiative qualifies. Law said, “The committee’s got the money. We’re going to get it on the ballot.”

Both versions of the ballot initiative would amend the state constitution to require commercial and industrial properties, but not residential properties, to be taxed based on their market value. Proposition 13 (1978) requires that residential, commercial, and industrial properties are taxed based on their purchase price. The tax is limited to no more than 1 percent of the purchase price (at the time of purchase), with an annual adjustment equal to the rate of inflation or 2 percent, whichever is lower.

Both versions would also create a process in the state constitution for distributing revenue from the revised tax on commercial and industrial properties. First, the revenue would be distributed to (a) the state to supplement decreases in revenue from the state’s personal income tax and corporation tax due to increased tax deductions and (b) counties to cover the costs of implementing the measure. Second, 60 percent of the remaining funds would be distributed to local governments and special districts, and 40 percent would be distributed to school districts and community colleges.

Some of the major differences between the versions include the threshold at which commercial and industrial properties would be taxed at market value, which small business-owned properties would continue to be taxed based on purchase price, how revenue would be allocated for schools, and when the changes would go into effect. While the original version was expected to generate between $7.00 and $11.00 billion in revenue per year, the new version is expected to generate between $8.00 and $12.50 billion per year.

Schools and Communities First received the endorsements of several current and former Democratic presidential candidates, including Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and home-state Sen. Kamala Harris. Schools and Communities First, along with several allied political action committees, raised $19.57 million through March. The California Teachers Association Issues PAC was the largest contributor.

Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes is leading the campaign against the ballot initiative. Opponents include the California Business Roundtable and California Taxpayers Association. Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes, along with the Protect Prop. 13 PAC, raised $3.13 million through March.

There could be upwards of 12 citizen-initiated ballot measures on the ballot for November 3, 2020, in California. Some of the campaigns, however, have suspended signature gathering in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which could make qualifying their initiatives more difficult before the recommended submission deadline of April 21, 2020. Sponsors that fail to file signatures before the recommended deadline could still have their initiatives placed on the ballot for 2022.

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Arizona ballot initiative campaigns ask state Supreme Court to allow electronic signatures due to coronavirus pandemic

On April 2, 2020, four ballot initiative campaigns filed a petition asking the Arizona Supreme Court to allow the campaigns to gather signatures through E-Qual, which is the state’s online signature collection platform, during the coronavirus pandemic. E-Qual is available for federal, statewide, and legislative candidates but not ballot initiatives.

The legal petition stated, “The Novel Coronavirus 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic changed, quite literally, everything. … Although this new reality is essential for public health, it is catastrophic to the Initiative Proponents’ exercise of their fundamental constitutional right. … In short, signature gathering will halt, and the Initiative Proponents’ hard work and investment is in jeopardy. … This Petition presents an important legal question of first impression: whether the fundamental constitutional rights of the Initiative Proponents are violated by their exclusion from an online petition signature gathering system maintained by the Secretary in the middle of a public health emergency that severely limits (or outright bars) their ability to otherwise collect initiative petition signatures.”

The four ballot initiative campaigns that filed the petition are:

  1. Arizonans for Second Chances, Rehabilitation, and Public Safety, which is behind the Criminal Justice Procedures for Offenses Defined as Non-Dangerous Initiative.
  2. Smart and Safe Arizona, which is behind the Marijuana Legalization Initiative.
  3. Invest in Education, which is behind the Tax on Incomes Exceeding $250,000 for Teacher Salaries and Schools Initiative.
  4. Save Our Schools Arizona, which is behind the Limits on Private Education Vouchers Initiative.

The Arizona Republic reported that the office of Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), who was named as the defendant, was reviewing the petition and could not comment as of April 2.

At least 15 statewide ballot initiative campaigns in eight states had suspended their signature drives by April 2 due to the coronavirus pandemic. No states currently allow ballot initiative campaigns to collect signatures electronically.

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Campaign backed by Uber, Lyft, Instacart, and others files signatures for California ballot initiative to define app-based drivers as independent contractors and enact regulations

Californians could decide whether app-based drivers should be classified as independent contractors in November. On March 27, the campaign Protect App-Based Drivers & Services filed more than 1 million signatures with local election officials for the ballot measure. Counties have eight working days to count signatures followed by 30 working days to conduct a random sample of signature validity. At least 623,212 signatures need to be valid.

The ballot measure would consider app-based drivers to be independent contractors and not employees or agents. Therefore, the ballot measure would override Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), signed in September 2019, on the question of whether app-based drivers are employees or independent contractors. Examples of companies that hire app-based drivers include Uber Technologies, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates. The ballot measure would not affect how AB 5 is applied to other types of workers.

AB 5 established a three-factor test to decide a worker’s status as an independent contractor. The three-factor test requires that (a) the worker is free from the hiring company’s control and direction in the performance of work; (b) the worker is doing work that is outside the company’s usual course of business; and (c) the worker is engaged in an established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.

The ballot measure would also enact labor and wage policies specific to app-based drivers and companies, including a net earnings floor based on 120 percent of the state’s or municipality’s minimum wage and 30 cents per mile; a limit to the hours permitted to work during a 24-hour period; healthcare subsidies; occupational accident insurance; and accidental death insurance. The ballot measure would also require the companies to develop anti-discrimination and sexual harassment policies.

On August 30, 2019, three companies—DoorDash, Lyft, and Uber—each placed $30 million into campaign accounts to fund a ballot initiative campaign should the legislature pass AB 5 without compromising with the companies. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed AB 5 on September 18 without an exemption for app-based drivers and employers. The ballot initiative was filed on October 29, 2019. The companies Instacart (Maplebear, Inc.) and Postmates also joined the campaign, each contributing $10 million. Together, the five businesses had provided more than $110 million in support of the ballot initiative.

As of March 30, four citizen-initiated ballot measures have qualified to appear on the ballot for November 3, 2020, in California. Campaigns for an additional two ballot initiatives have filed signatures to appear on the ballot. The California State Legislature can place constitutional amendments, statutes, and bonds on the ballot for voter consideration.

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Arizona campaign finance initiative campaign suspends signature gathering

Former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, co-chair of the campaign Outlaw Dirty Money, announced that the campaign was suspending signature gathering efforts for its ballot initiative due to the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign needs to gather at least 356,467 signatures by the July 2 deadline.

The ballot initiative would add language to the Arizona Constitution providing people with a right to know the identity of the original source of an aggregate contribution of $5,000 or more used for campaign media spending.

Goddard called on the Arizona State Legislature to allow for signatures to be gathered online. He noted that the legislature had authorized candidates to collect petitions online. Goddard stated, “We’ve got a situation here where they treat themselves royally with access to electronic signatures. But they don’t let anybody else have it. I think that’s fundamentally unfair and perhaps illegal.”

Outlaw Dirty Money was the third ballot initiative campaign to suspend signature gathering in Arizona. The Arizonans for Fair Elections campaign stopped gathering signatures for its ballot initiative to make several changes to the state’s voting and campaign finance policies, including automatic voter registration and decreasing contribution limits. Anabel Maldonado, campaign manager of Arizonans for Fair Elections, said, “In order to keep from risking the health of our circulators and Arizona residents, we suspended both paid and volunteer signature collection late last Tuesday [March 17]. … Our teams are on standby, just in case. Additionally, we are working with our partners to figure out what is the safest way we can organize digitally to help identify our supporters.”

The campaign behind a ballot initiative to increase the minimum wage for nurses, technicians, and other medical staff considered direct care hospital workers also suspended signature gathering on March 15.

Ballotpedia is tracking how changes to ballot measure campaigns, procedures, and policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At least 13 statewide ballot initiative campaigns have suspended or abandoned signature gathering. Three states and D.C. have canceled board meetings, closed offices, delayed petition deadlines, or otherwise changed their procedures or policies on ballot measures.

Sixteen states of the 26 with a process for statewide citizen-initiated measures have signature deadlines between the end of April and early August. This makes the next several months an important time period for the circulation of 2020 initiative and referendum signature petitions.

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California ballot initiative campaigns are in the final weeks of their signature drives and face the effects of coronavirus

California is under a shelter-in-place order due to the coronavirus pandemic, but several ballot initiative campaigns are in the final days or weeks of their signature drives. As of March 23, four citizen-initiated measures have qualified to appear on the ballot in November. An additional nine ballot initiative could receive enough signatures to appear on the ballot.

The deadline for signature verification is June 25, 2020. However, the process of verifying signatures can take multiple months. Secretary of State Alex Padilla (D) recommends that campaigns file signatures no later than April 21. Campaigns that file signatures after the deadline can still have their proposals appear on the ballot for November 8, 2022.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has directed residents to remain at home, except as needed for food, medicine, and other services deemed essential, due to the pandemic. The California Department of Health has advised that non-essential gatherings be postponed or canceled, and the CDC is recommending that people maintain distance between each other. Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, stated, “We were getting 70,000 signatures a week until a couple of weeks ago, when it almost stopped.” According to Fred Kimball, owner of the signature-gathering firm Kimball Petition Management, “We’re all flying by the seat of our pants. No one has ever seen this.”

Campaigns behind the following nine citizen-initiated measures are seeking a place for their proposals on the general election ballot. Coronavirus, however, could have the effect of limiting the number of signatures that an individual petitioner can collect, especially for campaigns that didn’t launch until January 2020.

* Property Tax Transfers and Exemptions Initiative (#19-0003): The campaign Homeownership for Families and Tax Savings for Seniors filed 1.43 million signatures on March 4. At least 997,139 signatures need to be valid. The ballot measure would change how tax assessments are transferred between properties for eligible homebuyers and address resetting tax assessments to fair market value on inherited properties and when corporations and other entities acquire control of properties. Homeownership for Families and Tax Savings for Seniors, which is associated with the California Association of Realtors, has raised $12.08 million.

* Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative (#19-0008): An earlier version of the citizen-initiated measure has qualified for the ballot, but the campaign Schools and Communities First is seeking to replace the initiative with an amended version. The campaign needs to file at least 997,139 valid signatures. Schools and Communities First has raised $17.13 million. Both versions of the ballot initiative would amend the state constitution to require commercial and industrial properties, except those zoned as commercial agriculture, to be taxed based on their market value.

* Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative (#19-0021): The ballot initiative seeks to expand the provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which was passed in 2018. The campaign Californians for Consumer Privacy raised $3.42 million for this year’s effort. Robin Swanson, a consultant for the campaign, said, “We’re in pretty good shape with the numbers that we have, but are adhering to public health requirements and putting public safety first. Like most ballot measure campaigns out there, we’d always love more signatures, but we’re dealing with a stark new reality while the state is on lockdown.” At least 623,212 valid signatures need to be filed for the ballot measure.

* Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative (#19-0022): Californians for Stem Cell Research, Treatments, and Cures is backing a ballot initiative to issue $5.5 billion in general obligation bonds for the state’s stem cell research institute. Spokesperson Sarah Melbostad said the campaign’s signature drive has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. “In keeping with the governor’s statewide order for non-essential businesses to close and residents to remain at home, we’ve suspended all signature gathering for the time being. … We’re confident that we still have time to qualify and plan to proceed accordingly,” said Melbostad. Proponents have raised $5.28 million. The campaign needs to collect at least 623,212 valid signatures.

* Dialysis Clinic Requirements and Consent to Close Initiative (#19-0025): Californians for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection, which backed a defeated dialysis-related initiative in 2018, has raised $5.38 million for the new effort. The campaign needs at least 623,212 valid signatures.

* App-Based Drivers Regulations Initiative (#19-0026): With $110.58 million, Protect App-Based Drivers and Services has collected over 1 million signatures, of which 623,212 need to be valid. The campaign has the support of Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Instacart, and Postmates. The ballot measure would consider app-based drivers to be independent contractors and enact several wage and labor policies that would affect app-based drivers and companies. Spokesperson Stacy Wells said, “We were really lucky. We got our signatures in fast and were able to get off the streets in seven weeks.”

* Packaging Waste Reduction Regulations Initiative (#19-0028): The ballot measure would require CalRecycle, in consultation with other agencies, to adopt regulations that reduce the use of product packaging, single-use packaging, and single-use dishes and utensils. The campaign Clean Coasts, Clean Water, Clean Streets has raised $3.26 million. At least 623,212 valid signatures need to be collected.

*Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative (#19-0029): The Coalition to Authorize Regulated Sports Wagering, with the support of several tribal governments, has raised $7.5 million for a ballot measure to legalize sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks. The effort to collect 997,139 valid signatures began on January 21, 2020. “We are at nearly 1 million signatures and were on a trajectory to reach our goal well ahead of the deadline before the unprecedented orders around COVID-19,” said Jacob Mejia, a spokesperson for the campaign. He added, “The health and well-being of Californians is foremost. Thus, paid signature-gathering efforts have paused for the time being.”

Additional Reading:
2020 ballot measures
Changes to ballot measure campaigns, procedures, and policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, 2020

Maine voters will decide two bond measures, totaling $120 million, on June 9

The election on June 9, 2020, will feature two statewide bond measures in Maine. Legislators passed the bond measures on March 17, and Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed the legislation on March 18. A two-thirds vote was needed in each legislative chamber.

The first bond measure would authorize $105 million in bonds for transportation infrastructure projects, including $90 million for highways, bridges, and MaineDOT’s Municipal Partnership Initiative (MPI) and $15 million for multimodal facilities and equipment related to transit, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, ports, harbors, marine transportation, and active transportation projects. The bond revenue could act as matching funds for an estimated $275 million in federal and other funding.

The second bond measure would authorize $15 million in bonds for the ConnectME Authority to provide funding for high-speed internet infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas. As of March 2020, the ConnectME Authority defined unserved areas as places where broadband service is not offered and underserved areas as places where less than 20 percent of households have access to broadband service. The ConnectME Authority is a state organization that was developed to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure in Maine.

Voters of Maine cast ballots on 39 bond issues, totaling $1.43 billion ($1,427,925,000) in value, from January 1, 2007, through January 1, 2020. Voters approved 38 of 39 bond issues (97.4 percent) during this time. Ten of 39 bonds were related to transportation infrastructure. None were related to internet infrastructure. The last bond measure to be rejected was Question 2 (2012), which would have authorized $11 million in bonds to expand the state’s community college system.

With the Maine State Legislature adjourning on March 17, which was about a month earlier than scheduled, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the two bond measures are likely the only ballot measures that will appear on the June ballot. The latest that a bill could be signed to refer a measure to the June ballot is April 10. If the legislature reconvenes for a special session during the summer months, it could refer additional measures to the November ballot.

Additional Reading:
Maine High Speed Internet Infrastructure Bond Issue (June 2020)
Maine 2020 ballot measures
2020 ballot measures

California Proposition 13 is the first statewide school bond rejected by voters since 1994

On March 3, Californians voted on one statewide ballot measure, Proposition 13, which would have issued $15 billion in general obligation bonds for preschool, K-12, and higher education facilities. The ballot measure would have also made changes to the formula used to distribute state bond funds to schools, the rules governing local bond measures, and school districts’ abilities to assess developer fees.

Proposition 13 was behind on election night but millions of uncounted ballots remained. On March 11, Californians for Safe Schools and Healthy Learning, which led the campaign in support of Proposition 13, conceded that the ballot measure appeared to be defeated.

Asm. Patrick O’Donnell (D-70), who co-authored Proposition 13 (2020), said, “Despite this number having no relation to the content of the school facilities bond, many voters mistakenly believed the ballot measure made changes to the ‘Proposition 13’ originally passed in 1978 which dealt with property taxes.” He introduced legislation to retire the use of Proposition 13 as an official ballot measure title. In California, statewide ballot measures are assigned official titles in the order that they’re placed on the ballot and reset each decade. In 2018, the official titles were Proposition 1 through Proposition 12. Therefore, the first statewide measure of 2020 was Proposition 13.

Susan Shelley, vice president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, responded to the proposition’s defeated, saying, “Confusion over Proposition 13 is not the whole story here.” She added, “People are cynical about how the money is being spent. Maybe the message is ‘enough is enough.’” Beyond Proposition 13, there were 121 school bonds on local ballots throughout California. Since 2008, the average approval rate for local school bond measures was 75 percent. On March 3, less than 50 percent were approved.

Californians for Safe Schools and Healthy Learning, along with allied political action committees, raised $9.67 million to support Proposition 13 through February 15, 2020. The top donors included the California Teachers Association Issues PAC ($500,000), California Charter Schools Association ($400,000), and United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America ($334,000.00). Opponents of Proposition 13 did not organize a committee to fund an opposition campaign.

The next statewide election in California to feature ballot measures is November 3, 2020. There are several bond measures that could appear on the general election ballot, including a $5.5 billion citizen-initiated stem cell research bond, a $600 million legislative veterans’ housing and homelessness bond, and a $4.75 or $5.5 billion legislative bond for projects related to changing climate conditions, fire prevention, and water infrastructure.

Additional Reading:
California 2020 ballot proposition
California Proposition 13, Tax Limitations Initiative (1978)
Bond issues on the ballot

Signatures verified for top-four ranked-choice voting ballot initiative in Alaska

Alaskans could vote on a first-of-its-kind electoral system in November. On March 9, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer announced that the campaign Alaskans for Better Elections collected 36,006 valid signatures for its ballot initiative. The campaign filed 41,068 signatures, of which at least 28,501 needed to be valid.

Next, the Alaska State Legislature has the option to approve the proposal before the end of this year’s legislative session, which is expected to adjourn on May 20, 2020. Otherwise, the proposal will appear on the ballot for the general election on November 3, 2020.

The ballot initiative would replace partisan primaries with open top-four primaries for state executive, state legislative, and congressional offices. It would establish ranked-choice voting for general elections, in which voters would rank the four candidates that moved on from the primaries. The ballot initiative would also require persons and entities that make contributions that were themselves derived from donations, contributions, dues, or gifts to disclose the sources of the contributions.

Alaskans for Better Elections has raised $761,381 through January 7, 2020. Two organizations that have backed ranked-choice voting efforts in other states—Unite America and Action Now Initiative—provided the largest donations, $600,000 and $100,000, respectively. No campaign has organized to oppose the ballot initiative as of March 10, 2020.

Currently, one state—Maine—uses ranked-choice voting for some state and federal elections. In 2020, voters in Maine could be asked to expand ranked-choice voting to presidential elections. A ranked-choice voting initiative could also appear on the ballot in Massachusetts.

The deadline to file signatures for Alaska ballot initiatives passed on January 21, 2020. Along with Alaskans for Better Elections’ ballot initiative, voters may decide one to increase taxes on three North Slope oil production fields—Alpine, Kuparuk, and Prudhoe Bay. The legislature can also refer constitutional amendments and statutes to the ballot.

Additional Reading:
Alaska 2020 ballot measures
Top four primary
Ranked-choice voting

Virginians to decide constitutional amendment transferring redistricting powers from legislature to commission

On March 5, the Virginia House of Delegates voted 54-46 to approve a resolution placing a redistricting-related constitutional amendment on the ballot for November 3, 2020. The ballot measure would transfer the power to draw the state’s congressional and legislative districts from the state legislature to a 16-member redistricting commission composed of eight state legislators and eight citizens.

In Virginia, a joint resolution for a constitutional amendment needs to be passed in two successive sessions of the Virginia General Assembly. In 2019, the Republican-controlled House and Senate passed a resolution. Democrats won control of both legislative chambers in November 2019. In 2020, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed the resolution 38-2. The proposal received more opposition in the state House, where 46 Democrats opposed it. Nine House Democrats and all 45 Republicans voted to place the constitutional amendment on this year’s ballot. Before the final vote on March 5, Del. Marcus Simon (D-53) offered a substitute for SJR 18. The substitute resolution was rejected 47-53. Substitute SJR 18 would have created a redistricting commission composed of 11 commissioners “who are, as a whole, representative of the racial, gender, political, and geographic diversity of the Commonwealth.” Approval of Substitute SJR 18 would have restarted the process of amending the Virginia Constitution, meaning an amendment could appear on the 2022 ballot at the earliest.

Under the constitutional amendment that voters will decide in November, the commission would draw the maps, and the General Assembly would vote to pass or reject the maps. The General Assembly would be prohibited from amending the maps. If the General Assembly rejected a map, the redistricting commission would design a new map. If the map was rejected again, the Virginia Supreme Court would establish the districts.

Maps would also require approval by 12 of 16 (75 percent) commissioners, including six of eight legislators and six of eight citizens. Leaders of the legislature’s two-largest political parties would select members to serve on the commission. Therefore, based on the current membership, the commission’s legislative members would include two Senate Democrats, two Senate Republicans, two House Democrats, and two House Republicans. The commission’s eight citizen members would be recommended by legislative leaders and selected by a committee of five retired circuit court judges.

The constitutional amendment is the first ballot measure certified for 2020 that is related to redistricting. Measures could also be on the ballot in Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Oregon. In 2018, five states—Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah—voted on initiatives to change redistricting procedures or establish redistricting commissions, and all of them were approved by voters.

With the Virginia General Assembly adjourning on March 8, no additional constitutional amendments can be referred to the 2020 general election ballot unless a special session is held. Besides the redistricting amendment, voters will also decide an amendment that would create a property tax exemption on vehicles for veterans.

Additional reading:

Signatures verified for Maine ballot initiative designed to void international hydroelectric transmission project

A citizen initiative to void a certificate needed for an international hydroelectric transmission project will go on the ballot unless the state legislature approves it.

The campaign No CMP Corridor filed 75,253 signatures on February 3. Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (D) reported that 69,714 signatures were valid. At least 63,067 signatures needed to be verified. As citizen-initiated statutes are indirect in Maine, the state legislature has the option to approve the proposal before the end of this year’s legislative session, which is expected to adjourn on April 15, 2020. Otherwise, the proposal will appear on the ballot for the general election on November 3, 2020.

The ballot measure would require the Maine Public Utilities Commission to reverse an order made on May 3, 2019, that provided the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission project with a certificate of public convenience and necessity. In Maine, a certificate of public convenience and necessity is required before constructing a transmission line capable of operating at 69 kilovolts or more. The NECEC transmission project was designed to cross about 145 miles in Maine, from the state’s border with Quebec to Lewiston, and transmit around 1,200 megawatts from hydroelectric plants in Quebec to electric utilities in Massachusetts.

The State of Massachusetts proposed the NECEC transmission corridor, which is a joint project of Central Maine Power (CMP) and Hydro-Quebec. Massachusetts sought renewable generation and transmission projects to help meet the state’s renewable standards portfolio (RPS). CMP and Hydro-Quebec agreed to an incentives and benefits package worth $258 million, which would include funds for low-income electric consumer projects, rural broadband internet, electric vehicle charging stations, electric heat pumps, education grants, workforce development, and business retention.

The campaign No CMP Corridor, and allied PAC Mainers for Local Power, raised $198,912 through 2019. The largest contribution was $110,287 from Calpine Corp., which owns a natural gas plant in Westbrook, Maine. Clean Energy Matters is leading the campaign in opposition to the ballot initiative. Hydro-Québec Maine Partnership is also funding an effort opposed to the measure. Together, the opposition committees raised $2.41 million, which came from Central Maine Power (CMP) and CMP’s parent firm Avangrid.

The citizen-initiated statute is the only one that may appear on the Maine ballot in 2020. The signature deadline for initiated statutes was February 3, 2020. The campaigns behind veto referendums, including one to overturn a law expanding ranked-choice voting to presidential elections, have until 90 days after the 2020 legislative session adjourns to file signatures. The legislature can also refer constitutional amendments and bond measures to the November ballot.

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