CategoryBallot measures

2022 will feature the most abortion-related ballot measures on record; Campaigns respond to Dobbs

There will be at least five abortion-related ballot measures in 2022, including the first two ballot measures to provide explicit state constitutional rights related to abortion. On June 27, the California State Legislature passed a constitutional amendment, bringing the total to five – the most on record for a single year. Before 2022, the highest number was four measures in 1986. Since 1970, there have been 47 abortion-related ballot measures.

California, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, and Vermont have certified ballot measures for 2022.

Campaigns respond to the Supreme Court and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Voters in California and Vermont will be the first to decide on ballot measures to establish state constitutional rights to abortion. Votes on these measures follow Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which held that the U.S. Constitution does not confer a right to abortion and overruled Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

In Vermont, Proposal 5 would provide that “an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course” and cannot be infringed unless justified by a compelling state interest. Proposal 5 was first proposed in 2019. Eileen Sullivan, communications director for the Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, cited changes in the U.S. Supreme Court’s membership as background for Proposal 5. Sullivan said, “Justice [Anthony] Kennedy’s retirement prompted action in Vermont, so that these rights in Vermont would be protected no matter what happens in Washington, D.C.” Vermont Right to Life, which registered to oppose Proposal 5, responded following the Supreme Court’s decision, saying, “Extremist proponents of abortion rights in Vermont will use the Supreme Court decision to attempt to rally support for passage of Proposal 5.”

In California, a constitutional amendment would provide that the state cannot “deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions,” including the decision to have an abortion or to choose or refuse contraceptives. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Senate President Toni Atkins (D-39), and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-63) issued a joint statement calling for an amendment on May 2, 2022, following the leak of a Dobbs order draft. “We know we can’t trust the Supreme Court to protect reproductive rights, so California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution,” read the statement. The California Catholic Conference responded to the government officials’ statement, saying, “This will destroy lives, families, and significantly limit the ability of the Catholic Church in California to protect the unborn.”

In Kansas and Kentucky, voters will decide on constitutional amendments to provide that state constitutions cannot be interpreted to establish a state constitutional right to abortion. These types of amendments are designed to address previous and future state court rulings on abortion that have prevented or could prevent legislatures from passing certain abortion laws. In Kansas, the amendment is on the ballot for Aug. 2, 2022. In Kentucky, the amendment will be on the general election ballot in November. 

In Kansas, the campaign Value Them Both praised the ruling, “Today’s decision on Dobbs v. Jackson emphasizes the importance of our democracy, restoring the power to the states to decide how and if they are going to place limits on the abortion industry.” The campaign added that, since the Kansas Supreme Court has found that the state’s Bill of Rights provides a right to abortion, “The U.S. Supreme Court restored the people’s ability to come to individual consensus on abortion limits — but not in Kansas. As it stands today, unelected judges in Kansas are the ones who will decide the fate of abortion limits.” Kansans for Constitutional Freedom, the opposition campaign, stated, “The Supreme Court has voted to strike down Roe v. Wade. … We must keep fighting for the people in Kansas who are counting on us to defeat the constitutional amendment. Don’t leave the future of abortion rights in Kansas to chance.”

In Kentucky, the support campaign, Yes for Life, stated, “By overturning Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court remedied one of the darkest decisions in its history and sent a clear message for life. Kentuckians can vote on November 8th to make our Constitution unequivocally prolife. By voting Yes for Life, we can ensure there is no right to an abortion or the funding for abortions in Kentucky’s Constitution.” Protect Kentucky Access, the opposition campaign, responded, “Deciding whether or not to have an abortion is a medical decision that should be made between patients and their providers—not one to be made by the government alone. We can still turn back this terrible tide if we act together by defeating Question 2.”

Voters in Montana will also decide on an abortion-related ballot measure. LR-131 would provide in state law that infants born alive at any stage of development are legal persons. LR-131 would also require medical care to be provided to infants born alive after an induced labor, cesarean section, attempted abortion, or other methods.

Campaigns seeking the ballot in three additional states in 2022

With five abortion-related measures set for the ballot this year, 2022 will feature the most for a single year. However, campaigns for three citizen-initiated measures are active in Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan, meaning the number of measures could increase to six or more. 

In Arizona and Michigan, citizen-initiated constitutional amendments would provide that “Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom …”, including abortion and “decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy.” Signatures are due in Arizona on July 7 and in Michigan on July 11.

In Colorado, the campaign Colorado Life Initiative is collecting signatures for an initiative to prohibit abortion in the state, except to save a woman’s life, for ectopic pregnancies, and to remove a fetus that is no longer alive. Signatures are due in Colorado on August 8.

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Arizona voters will decide on an amendment to raise the ballot measure vote requirement this November

An amendment that will change the vote threshold requirement to pass ballot measures in Arizona will appear on the ballot this November.

On June 23, 2022, the Arizona State Senate voted 16-12 to put the measure on the ballot. All Republicans voted to pass the amendment, while all Democrats voted against it. The vote was also split down party lines when the Arizona House voted 31-28 to pass the amendment on February 22.

Currently, for a ballot measure to pass in Arizona, a simple majority (50.01%) is required. This amendment would change that requirement to a three-fifths supermajority (60%) for citizen-initiated measures and constitutional amendments.

The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Tim Dunn (R-13), who said that while the initiative process is valuable, there may be concerns with outside influences on elections. “I think it’s super important we have an initiative process and the ability for voters to have their will done,” Dunn said, “But I wanted to do this bill because we have become a petri dish for outside money to come in and, with a small amount of voters, get something to pass that is very hard to get changed in the future.”

Rep. Reginald Bolding (D-27) said that this measure will make it harder for initiatives to pass. “Make no mistake — it is designed to make it more difficult for citizen initiatives to get on the ballot,” he said. “No matter how it’s spinned, the primary purpose is to make it more difficult for Arizonans to have our voices heard when the legislature chooses not to act on popular policies that the public is asking for.”

Currently, four states require some sort of supermajority vote to approve a ballot measure–Colorado, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Florida. This year, Arkansas will also have a similar measure on the ballot that requires a constitutional amendment or ballot initiative to have a 60% vote. Voters in South Dakota rejected Amendment C on June 7. Amendment C would have required a 60% vote that increase taxes or fees or that would require the state to appropriate $10 million or more in the first five fiscal years.

There are currently eight measures on the Arizona ballot this November. The seven others are:

  • The In-State Tuition for Non-Citizen Residents Measure, which repeals provisions of Proposition 300 (2006) to allow in-state tuition for non-citizen residents.
  • The Voter Identification Requirements for Mail-In Ballots and In-Person Voting Measure, which requires date of birth and voter identification number for mail-in ballots and eliminates two-document alternative to photo ID for in-person voting
  • The Sales Tax for Fire District Funding Measure, which creates a 0.1% sales tax for 20 years to fund Arizona’s fire districts.
  • The Legislative Changes to Ballot Initiatives with Invalid Provisions Amendment, which allows the legislature to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot measures that contain provisions ruled unconstitutional or invalid by the state or federal supreme court.
  • The Single-Subject Requirement for Ballot Initiatives Amendment, which requires citizen-initiated ballot measures to embrace a single subject.
  • The Property Tax Exemptions Amendment, which allows the legislature to set certain property tax exemption amounts and qualifications
  • The Create the Office of Lieutenant Governor Amendment, which creates the office of Lieutenant Governor

In Arizona, 73 legislatively referred constitutional amendments have been on the ballot between 1985 and 2020. Forty-four (60%) of them have been approved, and 29 (40%) of them have been defeated.

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Arizona voters will decide on creating office of lieutenant governor

This November, voters in Arizona will choose whether to create the office of lieutenant governor in the state. A constitutional amendment creating this office will appear on the ballot.

The measure would also have voters elect the governor and lieutenant governor on a joint ticket. If the governor dies or leaves office, the lieutenant governor would take over the role as governor.

Arizona has never had a lieutenant governor – the next in line, in case of an absence, is the secretary of state. However, the governor and secretary of state are elected separately, and can come from different political parties. Currently, Doug Ducey, a Republican, is the governor, and Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, is secretary of state.

The amendment was introduced by Sen. Javan Mesnard (R-13) and Sen. Sean Bowie (D-18). The Arizona State Senate voted 21-6 on March 2, 2022 to approve the amendment. The House followed, voting 43-15 to approve it on June 23. The amendment will go on the ballot for the November 8 general election.

There are currently eight measures on the Arizona ballot this November. The seven others are:

  • The In-State Tuition for Non-Citizen Residents Measure, which repeals provisions of Proposition 300 (2006) to allow in-state tuition for non-citizen residents.
  • The Voter Identification Requirements for Mail-In Ballots and In-Person Voting Measure, which requires date of birth and voter identification number for mail-in ballots and eliminates two-document alternative to photo ID for in-person voting
  • The Sales Tax for Fire District Funding Measure, which creates a 0.1% sales tax for 20 years to fund Arizona’s fire districts.
  • The Legislative Changes to Ballot Initiatives with Invalid Provisions Amendment, which allows the legislature to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot measures that contain provisions ruled unconstitutional or invalid by the state or federal supreme court.
  • The Single-Subject Requirement for Ballot Initiatives Amendment, which requires citizen-initiated ballot measures to embrace a single subject.
  • The Property Tax Exemptions Amendment, which allows the legislature to set certain property tax exemption amounts and qualifications rather than determining details in the constitution
  • The 60% Supermajority Vote Requirement for Constitutional Amendments and Ballot Initiatives Amendment, which Requires a three-fifths (60%) supermajority vote to pass ballot initiatives (both statutes and constitutional amendments) and legislatively referred amendments

In Arizona, 73 legislatively referred constitutional amendments have been on the ballot between 1985 and 2020. Forty-four (60%) of them have been approved, and 29 (40%) of them have been defeated.

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Online sports betting is heading to the California ballot in November

On June 27, the California secretary of state reported that an initiative to legalize online and mobile sports betting had qualified for the ballot. The final random sample count concluded that over 1.1 million of the nearly 1.6 million signatures submitted were valid. The required number of signatures for the initiative was 997,139.

The initiative, sponsored by Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support, proposes a constitutional amendment and statute that would authorize a gaming tribe, an online sports betting platform with an operating agreement with a gaming tribe, or a qualified gaming company with a market access agreement with a gaming tribe to operate online sports betting for individuals 21 years of age or older in the state but outside of Indian lands.

Tribes and technology companies would be required to pay a one-time $10 million licensing fee and a license renewal fee of $1 million every five years. Gaming companies would be required to pay a one-time $100 million licensing fee and a license renewal fee of $10 million every five years. The sports wagering tax would be 10% and apply to sports wagers after deducting free bets, promotional credits, players’ winnings and prizes, and federal gaming taxes. Licensing and tax revenue would be allocated to the newly established California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Account and the Tribal Economic Development Account.

The proposed law would create the Division of Online Sports Betting Control within the Department of Justice. The initiative would give the division authority to regulate the online sports betting industry and investigate illegal sports betting activities.

This is the second initiative related to sports betting that has qualified for the ballot. The first initiative is backed by American Indian Tribes and would legalize sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks. The online sports betting initiative contains a provision that states that if this initiative and the other sports betting initiative that has already qualified for the November ballot are both approved by voters, they would both take effect because the two are not in conflict.

Californians for Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support reported over $100 million in contributions as of March 31, 2022. Its top three donors include BetMGM LLC, Betfair Interactive US LLC (FanDuel Sportsbook), and Crown Gaming, Inc. (DraftKings).

The campaign has received support from the mayors of Fresno, Long Beach, Oakland, and Sacramento. Tamera Kohler, chief executive officer of the Regional Task Force on Homelessness for the San Diego Area, said, “This initiative is a critical step forward, dedicating revenue to the issue of homelessness is a win-win for our state. It would provide an ongoing funding source of hundreds of millions of dollars each year to fight homelessness and provide mental health services to those most in need. We are excited to partner with the coalition to pass this important measure in November 2022.” 

Californians for Tribal Sovereignty and Safe Gaming and Coalition for Safe, Responsible Gaming are leading campaigns in opposition to the initiative. Together the committees have raised over $65 million. The top three donors include the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Rincon Reservation California, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. Chairman James Siva of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association said, “Don’t be fooled. These measures are not a fix to homelessness, but rather a massive explosion of gaming that will directly undercut tribal sovereignty and self-sufficiency.”

As of June 28, 2022, sports betting was legal or legal but not operational in 35 states and D.C. Five of the states—New Jersey (2011), Arkansas (2018), Colorado (2019), Maryland (2020), and South Dakota (2020)—legalized sports betting through a ballot measure.



Campaign submits signatures for initiative to decriminalize certain psychedelic plants and fungi and create a therapy program

On June 27, 2022, the campaign Natural Medicine Colorado reported submitting 222,648 signatures for a ballot initiative to decriminalize certain psychedelic plants and fungi. The ballot initiative would appear on the ballot in November.

The psychedelic plants and fungi, also known as hallucinogenic or entheogenic plants and fungi, that would be decriminalized for personal use are classified as Schedule I controlled substances in Colorado. These plants and fungi include dimethyltryptamine (DMT); ibogaine; mescaline (excluding peyote); psilocybin; and psilocyn.

The ballot initiative would also establish a program for the supervised administration of such substances; create a framework for regulating the growth, distribution, and sale of such substances to permitted entities; and create an advisory board to develop rules and implement the program.

To qualify for the ballot, 124,632 signatures must be valid. The secretary of state is responsible for signature verification. Verification is conducted through a review of petitions regarding correct form. The secretary then takes a sample of 5% of the signatures at random for verification. If the sampling projects between 90% and 110% of the signatures are valid, a full check of all signatures is required. If the sampling projects more than 110% of the required signatures, the initiative is certified for the ballot. If less than 90% are projected to be valid, the initiative fails. If a petition is deemed insufficient, proponents have 15 days to file an addendum with additional signatures. This cure-period does not extend the final deadline for signature submission, which is August 8 for 2022 ballot measures in Colorado.

Kevin Matthews, a representative for Natural Medicine Colorado, said, “This initiative would give Coloradans access to a new, promising, and research-based treatment option for PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges, in a safe, careful, and beneficial way. These medicines can be transformative for people who have suffered for years and struggled to find help.” Matthews also worked on the Decriminalize Denver campaign, which supported Initiative 301 in 2019. Voter approval of Initiative 301 made Denver the first local jurisdiction to decriminalize the use of psilocybin. The initiative made the adult possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms the lowest law enforcement priority in Denver and prohibited the city from spending resources on enforcing related penalties.

As of June 2022, 15 local jurisdictions had decriminalized psilocybin possession or deprioritized policing, prosecution, and arrest for possession of psilocybin. Three jurisdictions did so through the citizen initiative process and 11 did so through local government resolutions.

With the approval of Measure 109 and 110 in 2020, Oregon became the first state to create a program for administering psilocybin products, such as psilocybin-producing mushrooms and fungi, to individuals aged 21 years or older and the first state to decriminalize all drugs.

According to campaign finance reports through June 22, Natural Medicine Colorado reported $2.56 million in contributions (all from New Approach PAC) and $2.52 million in expenditures.

New Approach PAC has supported and funded initiative campaigns nationwide to legalize marijuana and create medical marijuana programs. In 2020, New Approach supported Oregon’s Measure 109 that created a program for administering psilocybin products; and Washington D.C.’s Initiative 81 that declared that police shall treat the non-commercial cultivation, distribution, possession, and use of plants and fungi that contain ibogaine, dimethyltryptamine, mescaline, psilocybin, or psilocyn as among the lowest law enforcement priorities.



Voters in five states will decide in November on removing constitutional language permitting enslavement or servitude as criminal punishments or debt payments

In 2022, voters in five states — Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, Tennessee, and Vermont — will decide on ballot measures to repeal language from their state constitutions that allows slavery or involuntary servitude for the punishment of a crime, or, in Vermont, for the payment of debts, damages, or fines.

As of 2022, 10 states had constitutions that included provisions prohibiting enslavement and involuntary servitude but with an exception for criminal punishments. Nine states had constitutions that included provisions permitting involuntary servitude, but not slavery, as a criminal punishment. One state—Vermont—had a constitutional provision permitting involuntary servitude to pay a debt, damage, fine, or cost. These constitutional provisions were added to state constitutions, in their original forms, from the 1850s to the 1890s.

Measures on the ballot in November:

  • Tennessee Remove Slavery as Punishment for Crime from Constitution Amendment (2022): Removes language that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments and replaces it with the statement, “Slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited.”
  • Oregon Remove Slavery as Punishment for Crime from Constitution Amendment (2022): Repeals language from the state constitution that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments and adds language that authorizes an Oregon court or a probation or parole agency to order alternatives to incarceration for a convicted individual as part of their sentencing.
  • Vermont Proposal 2, Prohibit Slavery and Indentured Servitude Amendment (2022): Repeals language stating that persons could be held as servants, slaves, or apprentices with the person’s consent or “for the payments of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like” and add “slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited.”
  • Alabama Recompiled Constitution Ratification Question (2022): Ratifies an updated and recompiled state constitution that was drafted to, among other changes, remove racist language. In 2020, voters authorized the Legislature to repeal racist language from the Alabama Constitution. The Committee on the Recompilation of the Constitution considered the servitude language to be racist, as well as having no practical impact on the state’s current practices. The section stating “That no form of slavery shall exist in this state; and there shall not be any involuntary servitude, otherwise than for the punishment of crime, of which the party shall have been duly convicted,” was removed in the updated constitution.
  • Louisiana Remove Involuntary Servitude as Punishment for a Crime from Constitution Amendment (2022): Removes language in the state constitution that allows involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime. The constitution would be amended to say, “Slavery and involuntary servitude are prohibited.” The amendment would add language stating that the section of the constitution “does not apply to the otherwise lawful administration of criminal justice.”

Previously decided ballot measures:

Before 2022, voters approved measures to repeal such language from their constitutions in three states — Colorado (2018), approved with 66% voting in favor; Nebraska (2020), approved with 68% voting in favor; and Utah (2020), approved with 80% voting in favor.

Future ballot measures:

Voters in Nevada could decide in 2024 to repeal language in the state constitution that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments. In Nevada, a majority vote is required in two successive sessions of the Nevada State Legislature to place an amendment on the ballot. The amendment was introduced in the Nevada House of Representatives as Assembly Joint Resolution 10 (AJR 10). On April 13, 2021, it was approved by the House in a vote of 42-0. On May 17, 2021, it was approved in the Senate by a vote of 21-0. The amendment must also pass in the 2023 legislative session.



An initiative related to California dialysis clinics qualifies for the November ballot

On June 20, the California Secretary of State announced an initiative to enact staffing requirements, reporting requirements, ownership disclosure, and closing requirements at dialysis clinics had qualified for the November ballot. Californians for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection, the campaign behind the initiative, submitted over 1 million signatures. The random sample concluded that 725,890 signatures were valid, surpassing the 623,212 signature threshold for initiated state statutes.

The proposed requirements include: 

  • requiring clinics to have at least one physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant—with at least six months of experience with end-stage renal disease care—onsite during patient treatments;
  • requiring clinics to report dialysis-related infections to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH);
  • requiring clinics to provide patients with a list of physicians with an ownership interest of 5 percent or more in the clinic;
  • requiring clinics to provide the CDPH with a list of persons with an ownership interest of 5 percent or more in the clinic; and
  • requiring clinics to obtain the CDPH’s written consent before closing or substantially reducing services to patients.

The ballot initiative would also prohibit clinics from refusing to care for a patient based on the patient’s form of payment, whether the patient is an individual payer, the patient’s health insurer, Medi-Cal, Medicaid, or Medicare.

The campaign is sponsored by SEIU-UHW West, which has contributed over $3.5 million. On its campaign website, Californians for Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection said, “We are dialysis workers and patients who are coming together to challenge the profiteering business model of the dialysis industry, to push dialysis corporations to make needed investments in patient care, and to stop extreme consumer overcharging.”

Similar measures were defeated in California in 2018 and 2020 by 60% and 63% of voters, respectively. The 2022 initiative is facing opposition from the same organizations. Stop Yet Another Dangerous Dialysis Proposition Committee has received endorsements from the American Academy of Nephrology PAs, California Chamber of Commerce, California Medical Association, California Taxpayer Protection Committee, and National Hispanic Medical Association. The campaign reported over $2.2 million in contributions from dialysis providers—DaVita, Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care.

Six initiatives have qualified for the 2022 ballot, including the dialysis initiative. An initiative to increase the cap on medical malpractice lawsuits qualified for the ballot in July 2020. However, in April 2022, the sponsors reached a legislative compromise with the California State Legislature and withdrew the initiative in May.

The other four initiatives relate to sports betting legalization, plastic waste reduction, K-12 art and music education funding, and a flavored tobacco products ban.

Between 2010 and 2020, an average of 87 initiatives were filed for even-numbered year ballots with an average of 10 making the ballot.



Measures regarding abortion have been on the ballot 47 times in 23 states since 1970; at least 4 more will be decided this year

Abortion has been a perennial issue for statewide ballot measures across the U.S. since the 1970s, and 2022 is continuing that trend.

There will be at least four ballot measures addressing abortion this year, which is the most since 1986. Measures have been certified for the ballot in Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, and Vermont. Should one more abortion-related measure make the ballot, 2022 will break that record.

Since 1970, there have been 47 abortion-related ballot measures, and 40 (85%) of these had the support of organizations that described themselves as pro-life. Voters approved 11 (27.5%) and rejected 29 (72.5%) of these 40 ballot measures. Campaigns sponsored ballot measures that addressed state constitutional language; personhood definitions; restricting, limiting, or regulating abortion; prohibiting public funding for abortion; parental notification; and practitioner requirements. 

The other seven abortion-related ballot measures had the support of organizations that described themselves as pro-choice or pro-reproductive rights. Voters approved four (57%) and rejected three (43%). Campaigns sponsored ballot measures that addressed state constitutional rights; legalizing abortion or expanding abortion timelines; and allowing public funding for abortions.

Some of the most successful abortion-related topics on the ballot were: amendments designed to provide that state constitutions cannot be interpreted to establish a state constitutional right to abortion (4 of 6, or 67%); laws to legalize abortion or expand the timeframe for when an abortion can occur (4 of 6, or 67%); and parental notification laws (4 of 9, or 44%). Before Roe v. Wade in 1973, three abortion-related measures were on the ballot in Michigan, North Dakota, and Washington, and each was designed to allow abortion in its respective state.

The ballot initiative process, in which signatures are collected to place a proposed law on the ballot, was used for 36 of 51 (71%) abortion-related ballot measures through June 2022. Legislatures referred 14 (27%) to the ballot, and a state constitutional convention referred one (2%). The states with the highest numbers of abortion-related ballot measures are Colorado (nine), Oregon (six), Washington (four), and California (three). These states have an initiative and referendum process. States without an initiative and referendum process have never had more than one abortion-related ballot measure.

As of June, state legislatures were responsible for each of the four abortion-related measures on the 2022 ballot. Campaigns for initiatives are collecting signatures in Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan, and a legislative constitutional amendment could make the ballot in California. 

In Vermont, voters will decide on the first ballot measure to establish a state constitutional right to reproductive autonomy. Eileen Sullivan, communications director for the Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, stated, “Justice [Anthony] Kennedy’s retirement prompted action in Vermont, so that these rights in Vermont would be protected no matter what happens in Washington, D.C.” The proposed initiatives in Arizona and Michigan would provide for state constitutional rights to reproductive freedom; in both cases, the term reproductive freedom would be defined to include abortion.

In Kansas and Kentucky, the ballot will feature measures ​​to provide that state constitutions cannot be interpreted to establish a state constitutional right to abortion. In Kansas, for example, the state Supreme Court ruled that the state’s Bill of Rights provided a state constitutional right to abortion. “We see these initiatives as fighting back against activist state courts and neutralizing the state constitutions on the issue,” said Billy Valentine, vice president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

In Montana, a ballot measure would provide that “a born-alive infant, including an infant born in the course of an abortion, must be treated as a legal person under the laws of the state.” The ballot measure would require practitioners to provide medical care to born-alive infants.

The deadlines for the remaining abortion-related ballot initiatives that could appear on the ballot this November are July 7 for Arizona, July 11 in Michigan, and August 8 for Colorado. The California State Legislature has until June 30 to place the right to reproductive freedom amendment on the ballot this year.

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South Carolina Legislature refers two constitutional amendments to the 2022 ballot to increase General Reserve and Capital Reserve Funds

South Carolina voters will decide on two constitutional amendments in 2022. One of the amendments would increase the General Reserve Fund from 5% of state general fund revenue to 7%. The increase would be 0.5% percentage points each year until reaching 7%.

The state’s General Reserve Fund can be used to cover year-end operating deficits. If funds are used, the General Reserve Fund must be restored to the constitutionally mandated full amount within five years, with a minimum of 1% added back to the fund each year.

The other amendment would increase the Capital Reserve Fund from 2% to 3% of state general fund revenue and provide that the first use of the Capital Reserve Fund is to offset midyear budget reductions. Funds from the Capital Reserve Fund can be used to cover year-end operating deficits. The Capital Reserve Fund must be used to cover year-end deficits before the General Reserve Fund. If there is no year-end operating deficit and the General Reserve Fund is fully funded at the amount required by the state constitution (currently 5% of state general fund revenue), money in the the Capital Reserve Fund can be appropriated through a two-thirds (66.67%) supermajority vote of legislators for certain purposes. These purposes include:

  • to fund authorized capital improvement bond projects;
  • to retire the interest or principal on past bonds; or
  • for capital improvements or other nonrecurring purposes.

Money not appropriated from the Capital Reserve Fund are returned to the state general fund at the end of a fiscal year.

To put these legislatively referred constitutional amendments before voters, a two-thirds (66.67%) supermajority vote was required in both the South Carolina State Senate and the South Carolina House of Representatives.

The measures were referred to the ballot through Senate Joint Resolution 1106. SJR 1106 was approved in the Senate on March 17, 2022, by a 43-0 vote. On May 4, 2022, the House amended the proposal and unanimously approved it, sending it back to the Senate. The Senate concurred with the House’s amendments on June 15, 2022, by a 40-1 vote.

In South Carolina, a total of 54 ballot measures appeared on the statewide ballot between 1985 and 2018. Forty-five ballot measures were approved and 9 ballot measures were defeated.

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California initiative to require additional funding for K-12 art and music education qualifies for the ballot

On June 8, the California Secretary of State announced that an initiative to require additional funding for K-12 art and music education had qualified for the ballot. Californians for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools, the campaign sponsoring the initiative, submitted 1,030,221 signatures for verification in April. Counties conducted a random sample, and the secretary of state reported that 711,872 signatures were valid.

To qualify for the ballot, the campaign needed to submit 623,212 valid signatures, which is equal to 5% of the votes cast in the preceding gubernatorial election.

The proposed law would require a minimum source of annual funding for K-12 public schools, including charter schools, to fund arts education programs. The annual minimum amount established by the law would be equal to, at minimum, 1% of the total state and local revenues that local education agencies received under Proposition 98 (1988) during the prior fiscal year. The minimum under the proposed law would be in addition to the funding required by Proposition 98. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the ballot initiative would likely result in increased spending of $800 million to $1 billion each fiscal year.

Of the total amount guaranteed under the 1% additional minimum funding for arts education, 70% would be allocated to local education agencies based on their share of the statewide enrollment of K-12 students in the prior fiscal year. The other 30% would be allocated to local education agencies based on their share of economically disadvantaged students. The initiative defines an economically disadvantaged student as “a pupil who is eligible for the National School Lunch Program.”

The initiative has received endorsements from former Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District Austin Beutner, former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (D), the California Teachers Association, and several celebrities and musicians.

Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive officer of the Universal Music Group, said, “Music education supports all education – it fosters reasoning and skills that are the building block for learning other subjects. This measure is critical not only for education and learning, but also to mental well-being and even the state’s economic health. Companies like ours, that moved to California to be at the nexus of entertainment and technology, rely on a skilled workforce to fill the high-quality jobs we create here. If enacted, this initiative will ensure a future job-ready workforce and secure California’s position as the global epicenter of music and the arts.”

Californians for Arts and Music Education in Public Schools has reported over $7 million in contributions. The top donors were Austin Beutner ($2.95 million), Steven A. Ballmer ($1.5 million), and Fender Musical Instruments Corp. ($1.05 million).

The initiative is opposed by the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board. The board said, “This is a bad idea. Right now, state coffers are flush. But when revenue becomes tight in the future, the governor and Legislature need as much flexibility in the budget as possible to make sure that critical needs are funded. What happens if the student population plummets in future years while the number of disabled elderly people grows?”

Three other citizen-initiated measures have already qualified for the ballot. The initiatives concern in-person sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks, plastic waste reduction, and a ban on flavored tobacco sales. Another measure related to the cap on medical malpractice lawsuits qualified for the ballot but was removed after a legislative compromise was reached earlier this year.

There are five other initiatives that submitted signatures for verification. The initiatives concern online sports betting, an institute for pandemic detection, requirements for dialysis clinics, an income tax for zero-emissions vehicles and wildfire prevention, and a minimum wage increase.

Between 2010 and 2020, an average of 87 initiatives were filed in California annually. The average number of initiatives certified during that period was 10.

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