Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NCSL's ballot initiative data base

Here's a very useful tool for folks interested in what's on the ballot nationwide. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has put together a user-friendly database that will sort ballot measures by state, topic, election, and year.

From there, it's easy to see what the hot button topics are for the general election in 2008. NCSL calls them "conservative leaning". They are:

Abortion - on the ballot in California, Colorado and South Dakota
Anti-affirmative action - on the ballot in Colorado and Nebraska
Immigration - on the ballot in Arizona, California, Missouri and Oregon
Same sex marriage - on the ballot in Arizona, California and Florida
Ban on adoption by gay couples - on the ballot in Arizona

There are a number of ballot initiatives that will impact state legislatures. They are:

Arizona - Proposition 300, Recommendation on Legislative Salaries. Provides an increase from $24,000 to $30,000.

Arkansas - Proposed Amendment 2, Provides that appropriation bills are valid for one fiscal year, requires General Assembly to meet in Fiscal Session in even-numbered years, sets length of sessions.

Colorado - Referendum L, Reduces age qualification to serve in the General Assembly from 25 to 21.

Louisiana - Amendment 2, Constitutional amendment providing for the convening of a special session of the legislature.

Louisiana - Amendment 3, Constitutional amendment providing for temporary succession of the the powers and duties of a legislator who is called to serve active duty in the armed forces of the United States.

Nevada - Question 4, Amends the sales and use tax of 1955 to authorize the legislature to comply with federal law or interstate agreements.

New Mexico - Amendment 3, Constitutional amendment providing for the requirement that cabinet level heads whose appointment is subject to confirmation by the state senate, be reconfirmed at the beginning of each term of the governor.

South Dakota - Amendment G, Constitutional amendment repealing reimbursement restrictions for travel by legislators to and from a legislative session.

South Dakota - Amendment I, Constitutional amendment providing for a maximum of 40 legislative days a year.

South Dakota - Amendment J, Constitutional amendment eliminating term limits for legislators.

South Dakota - Initiated Measure 10, Adoption of South Dakota Open and Clean Government Act.

Utah - Amendment C, Constitutional amendment to change the start of the legislative session from the third Monday in January to the fourth Monday in January, and exclude federal holidays in the 45 day limit on annual general sessions.

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