Tag Archives: initiated measures

Ralph Muecke at the North Dakota Watchdog Network booth explains a proposed ballot measure to a fairgoer in the Commercial II Building at the North Dakota State Fair Thursday. Jill Schramm / Minot Daily News

We Should Allow More Time for Referendum Campaigns

We Should Allow More Time for Referendum Campaigns

As of yesterday all three referendum campaigns started by Dickinson citizen activist Riley Kuntz have failed. He was trying to refer an appropriation for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library, an expansion of the open records exemption for legislative emails, and a limit on the powers of the state auditor to the statewide ballot for a

N.D. state Senator Kelly Armstrong, the Republican candidate running for Rep. Kevin Cramer's vacated seat in Congress, speaks with the Grand Forks Herald editorial board on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Plain Talk: Rep. Armstrong Says Democrats Amended Violence Against Women Act So It Wouldn’t Pass

On this episode of Plain Talk, Congressman Kelly Armstrong took questions from listeners, including one on renewing the Violence Against Women Act. He said if that legislation was offered up for renewal in the same form it’s existed in previous years it would have passed with more Republican support. Democrats, according to Armstrong, added amendments

Shane Goettle, a member of the committee sponsoring Marsy's Law, speaks at a press conference in the state capitol in May 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)

If the Legislature Wants More Control Over Initiated Measures They Had Better Be Ready to Make That Case to Voters

I am delighted to learn the House has passed SCR4001, introduced by state Senator David Hogue of Minot, on a 63-30 vote. The constitutional amendment was amended a bit by the House – you can read the version which was approved by that chamber below – and those amendments will need to be approved by the Senate.

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

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