- The legislature can adopt the initiative as proposed, in which case it becomes law without a vote of the people.
- The legislature can reject or refuse to act on the proposed initiative, in which case the initiative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.
- The legislature can approve an alternative to the proposed initiative, in which case both the original proposal and the legislature’s alternative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.
The first 2019 edition of the State Ballot Measure Monthly covers all six of the 2019 and 2020 statewide ballot measures certified to appear on ballots so far.
Here are the highlights:
- One 2019 statewide measure, a transportation bond issue, is certified for the ballot in Colorado.
- Five measures in four states are certified to appear on the ballot in 2020; these measures concern renewable energy, property taxes and revenue allocation, criminal sentencing and parole, and a constitutional convention question.
- Three of the measures certified for the 2020 election so far are citizen initiatives, two in California and one in Nevada.
- Two measures, the Colorado 2019 bond issue and a 2020 renewable energy initiative in Nevada, were automatically put on the ballot due to outcomes of ballot measures in November 2018.
- The most recent measure to be certified for the ballot was a 2020 constitutional amendment in Michigan concerning the use of state and local park funds.
- Citizen initiative signature requirements increased in 13 states and decreased in five states based on 2018 elections.
- In addition to signature requirements increasing by 35 percent in Michigan due to 2018 turnout, initiative signature petition efforts in Michigan will have to meet a new distribution requirement for signature collection approved by the legislature and signed into law on December 28, 2018.
- create a voter pre-registration process for 16- and 17-year olds,
- require the state Board of Elections to transfer a voter’s registration to wherever the voter moves within New York State,
- restrict campaign contributions from LLCs to $5,000 and require ownership of the LLC to be disclosed in campaign finance reports,
- combine the federal non-presidential primary and state primary elections to a single date in June, and
- establish a nine-day early-voting period, including two weekends, before general, primary, and special elections.
The legislative package comes after Democrats gained trifecta control of the state government at the 2018 general election. Except for a period of Democratic control in 2009 and 2010, New York had a divided government since 1975. Before the election on November 6, 2018, Democrats controlled the state Assembly, but not the state Senate due to a coalition between Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference. In 2018, Democrats won 40 seats in the 63-seat Senate.