Tag Archives: initiated measures

Plain Talk: Is the Legacy Fund at Risk From Initiated Measures? and Some Thoughts on the Demise of the Sunday Close Law

Plain Talk: Is the Legacy Fund at Risk From Initiated Measures? and Some Thoughts on the Demise of the Sunday Close Law

Lawmakers in Bismarck are debating reforms, but as the law stands now North Dakota’s initiated measure process is wide open. Interests with a lot of money can pay to have their signatures collected, pay for a slick marketing campaign, and change the state’s laws. Even our state’s constitution. With billions of uncommitted dollars sitting in

Dina Butcher, left, and Ellen Chaffee were involved with changing the North Dakota constitution when voters approved Measure 1 in November. TOM STROMME/Bismarck Tribune

It’s Easy to Amend the State Constitution When Hollywood Celebrities and Billionaires Are Paying to Collect Signatures

In Bismarck lawmakers are looking to make the process of amending North Dakota’s constitution harder, and for good reason. Our state constitution is a sacred document, and ought not be lightly amended. Yet of late interests with deep pockets, like the California billionaire who bankrolled the Marsy’s Law campaign, have figured out they can buy

Plain Talk: Lawmaker Explains Why We Need Initiated Measure Reform, Closer Look at Oil Boom Crime Stats Paints a Different Picture

On this episode of Plain Talk, state Senator David Hogue talks about his remarkable speech on the Senate floor to flip a unanimous “do not pass” committee recommendation on his resolution to reform initiated measures into a lopsided win in the floor vote. Also, a recent article about crime during the Bakken oil boom was

Print Column: Nobody, Not Even Voters, Should Be Able to Make Laws Unilaterally

MINOT, N.D. — The populist cranks slobbering about the initiated measure process and how it represents the “will of the people” have a hypocrisy at the heart of their argument. I’m not talking about the fact that initiated measures often represent the will of bored billionaires (like Marsy’s Law in 2016) or a collective of

State Senator David Hogue (R-Minot) speaks in defense of SCR4001 which would require legislative approval of any ballot measures amending the state constitution.

If You’re Skeptical of the Legislature Making Changes to the Initiated Measure Process Please Watch This Video

The state Senate’s Committee’ on Government and Veteran Affairs voted on SCR4001 they gave it a unanimous “do not pass” recommendation. The resolution, introduced by Senator David Hogue (R-Minot), would amend the state constitution to require that ballot initiative which would amend the state constitution be approved by the Legislature in addition to the voters.

If the Voters Approve Bad Policy, Does That Make It Good Policy?

I talked about this on today’s podcast, but I thought the Fargo Forum’s Sunday editorial was worth responding to in the form of a blog post as well. (Full disclosure, I’m employed by the Forum Communications Company.) “Legislative leaders are taking steps to gut the constitutional amendment that voters approved in the November election to establish

Shane Goettle, a member of the committee sponsoring Marsy's Law, speaks at a press conference in the state capitol prior to petitions, shown in front of podium, being delivered to the Secretary of State's office. In back from left are Marsha Lembke, Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert, Kelly Leben of the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department, Lacee Anderson, Kathleen Wrigley and Nicole Peske. TOM STROMME/Bismarck Tribune

Marsy’s Law May Have Put North Dakota in Violation of the 8th Amendment

Marsy’s Law is yet another of the legal headaches created by North Dakota’s deeply flawed initiated measure process. Approved by voters after a slick marketing campaign bankrolled by a California billionaire (who is currently facing drug trafficking charges), Marsy’s Law created in North Dakota’s constitution what supporters call “victim’s rights” and more honest observers describe

Plain Talk Podcast: Sealing Criminal Records, Blue Laws, Measure 1, and Why Initiated Measures Make for Bad Policy

Are initiated measures a good way to make public policy? I don’t think so, and I talk about it in this episode of the Plain Talk podcast. Measure 1 – a constitutional amendment approved by voters in the 2018 election – is one reason why many, like me, feel that way. Also Rep. Shannon Roers

Sen. David Hogue, R-Minot Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

Bill Would Require Double Legislative Approval of Constitutional Amendments Initiated by Petitions

There is a lot of concern among some political observers – including this one – that the initiated measure process is in desperate need of reform. Currently a committee of citizens can submit signatures to amend statute, and even the state constitution, without the involvement of the elected Legislature at all. Supposedly this is a

Print Column: Initiated Measures Have Become the Domain of Rich Donors and Political Professionals

MINOT, N.D. — There are some who defend initiated ballot measures, the method through which distracted voters decide complicated policy questions, as some sort of an egalitarian ideal. They want us to believe that legislating at the ballot box is the purest form of the people doing the people’s business. Something on a higher moral

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