Guide to State Ballot Measures for 2010
By Pamela M. Prah, Staff Writer
Fiscal impact: $345 million *
California: Should the vote threshold in the Legislature for passing a budget be lowered from two-thirds to a simple majority?
Fiscal impact: uncertain *
California: Should new fees and charges require a two-thirds vote from the Legislature for approval, rather than a simple majority?
Fiscal impact: could reduce state revenues by billions *
California: Should the state be prohibited from using local government and transportation funds for other purposes?
Fiscal impact: several billions of dollars *
Colorado : Should state and local governments be banned from taking on debt without voter approval?
Fiscal impact: $500 million *
Florida: Should the current class-size requirements that voters approved in 2002 be changed?
Hawaii: Should the Legislature have authority to decide whether excess funds be returned to the taxpayers via rebates or tax credits or deposited to be used during a downturn?
Iowa: Should a Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund be created? Revenue would be generated if the legislature increases the sales tax at a future date.
Estimated to bring in $150 million to state*
North Dakota : Should the state create the North Dakota Legacy Fund, with revenue coming from oil and gas taxes? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature.)
Oklahoma : Should the constitution be amended to prohibit any entity other than the Legislature from setting budget amounts? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature.)
Washington: Should voters restore the requirement that tax increases be approved by two-thirds legislative majorities or voter approval and that new or increased fees require majority legislative approval? (Lawmakers suspended the supermajority requirement this year.) No direct fiscal impact *
Washington: Should state liquor stores be closed and private parties be licensed to sell or distribute spirits?
Fiscal impact: Could reduce state revenue by $520 over five years *
A similar measure that would allow retailers, like Costco, to buy beer, wine and spirits directly from manufacturers instead of going through distributors.
Arizona : Should the state sales tax be temporarily increased? (May 18; This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature.)
California : Should recently enacted corporate tax breaks be repealed?
Fiscal impact: About $1.3 billion in additional state revenue by 2012 *
California : Should the possession of marijuana be legal and taxed?
Fiscal impact: potential "hundreds of millions" in increased tax revenue *
California : Should an annual $18 fee to use state parks be imposed?
Fiscal impact: net increase of $250 million *
Colorado : Should motor vehicle, income and other taxes be cut?
Fiscal impact: $1.6 billion *
Colorado : Should property taxes be cut in half?
Fiscal impact: $1.5 billion *
Georgia : Should a $10 fee on car license tags be approved and the new money put into a trauma care trust fund? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature.)
Maine : Should a law passed in 2009 that lowers the income tax rate and makes up the lost revenue by changing sales taxes be repealed? (June 8; Law is repealed)
Massachusetts : Should the sales tax on alcohol be repealed?
Massachusetts: Should the general sales tax rate be reduced from 6.25 percent to 3 percent?
Missouri : Should new taxes on real estate sales or transactions be prohibited?
Montana : Should the state and other political subdivisions be prohibited from imposing any new tax, including a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate?
Oregon : Should taxes be raised on businesses and higher-income residents, with the proceeds largely used for public education and social services? (Jan. 26; Both measures were approved.)
Washington : Should voters roll back higher taxes on candy, bottled water, pop and other products that the Legislature approved this year?
Fiscal impact: Could reduce state revenue by $352 million over five years *
Washington: Should a state income tax be created for high wage-earners and property taxes cut?
Fiscal impact: Could increase state revenue by $11 billion over five years *
Campaign financeAlaska : Should public funds used in political campaigns and campaign activity by government contractors be restricted? (Voters REJECTED this August 24).
California : Should the public finance the 2014 and 2018 campaigns for secretary of state? (June 8; This measure was put on the ballot.)
Florida : Should the state's public campaign financing option for statewide candidates be repealed? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature.)
Constitutional ConventionsIowa, Michigan and Montana : Should the state hold a constitutional convention? These questions are triggered automatically at regular intervals by state constitutions.
ElectionsAlaska : Should the size of the state legislature be increased to add two senators and four House members?
California : Should a "nonpartisan blanket primary" be established for legislative and congressional seats and statewide offices? (June 8; This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature.)
Illinois : Should a process whereby voters can recall the governor be established? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature.)
Oklahoma : Should statewide officials have term limits like state legislators do? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature.)
Oklahoma : Should voters be required to show a photo ID before receiving a ballot? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature.)
Vermont : Should 17-year-olds be permitted to vote in a primary provided they turn 18 before Election Day? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature).
RedistrictingCalifornia : Should elected representatives be removed from the process of establishing congressional district lines and that authority be transferred to a 14-member redistricting commission?
Should the redistricting committee for state legislative districts that voters approved in 2008 be disbanded?
Florida: Two citizen initiatives on redistricting aim to make it tougher for lawmakers to draw political districts that favor a political party or an incumbent. A judge threw out a competing redistricting measure put on the ballot by the Legislature, saying it was too confusing. An appeal is expected.
AbortionAlaska : Should minors be required to notify their parents before receiving an abortion? (Voters APPROVED this August 24)
Colorado : Should the state constitution be amended to define "personhood" as beginning at conception?
Arizona : Should preferential treatment in public employment, education and contracting be banned? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature.)
California : Should the state's 2006 law that mandates reductions in greenhouse gases be suspended until the state's unemployment rate drops below 5.5 percent?
Crime and Courts
Colorado : Should only defendants arrested for a first offense, nonviolent misdemeanor be released from jail without bail?
Oklahoma : Should courts be prohibited from using international law or Sharia law when making rulings? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature).
Oregon : Should the state increase mandatory minimum sentences for certain sex offenders and repeat intoxicated drivers?
Nevada : Should the governor be able to make judicial appointments from a list of nominees offered by a selection panel, rather than having judges seek election in nonpartisan elections, as is the case now? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature).
Washington : Should judges have the authority to deny bail to a person charged with an offense that is punishable by life in prison? (This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature).
Ohio : Should the location of the Columbus casino that voters approved in November 2009 be changed? (May 4; This measure was put on the ballot by the Legislature and APPROVED.)
Maine : Should a casino in Oxford County be permitted?
Oregon: Should a casino in Multnomah County be permitted? And should 15 percent of lottery proceeds continue to go to parks, beaches, wildlife habitat beyond 2014?
Arizona and Oklahoma : Should mandatory participation in the new federal health care regime be prohibited? (The measures were put on the ballot by the legislatures.)
Missouri voters approved this measure August 3, thus rejecting a key component of the new federal health care law.
Arkansas , South Carolina and Tennessee : Should the right to hunt and fish be added to the state constitution? (These measures were put on the ballot by the legislatures)
Montana: Should outfitter-sponsored big game and deer hunting licenses be replaced with nonresident licenses and the fees increased?
North Dakota: Should the shooting of big game within fenced areas be banned?
Arizona, South Carolina , South Dakota and Utah : Should the right to vote a secret ballot in all state and federal elections as well as labor-representation elections be guaranteed? (The measures were put on the ballot by the legislatures.)
Arizona : Should medical marijuana be legalized?
South Dakota : Should medical marijuana be legalized?
California : Should the possession of marijuana be legal and taxed?
Oregon: Should the sale of medical marijuana be available through dispensaries?
Montana: Should the annual interest, fees and charges that payday, title and retail installment lenders and consumer loan licensees are allowed to charge on loans be reduced to 36 percent?
South Dakota: Should smoking be banned in all restaurants, bars, package liquor stores, Deadwood casinos and video lottery establishments?Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures and Stateline reporting
* Fiscal impact was done by the state. See link for full analysis