Ballot Measures

News & Analysis as of

Hillsborough County Adopts Mobility Fees, Ends Push for Transportation Sales Tax

As we previewed in our prior update, Hillsborough County settled part of a years-long debate over transportation funding by adopting a mobility fees ordinance, but on the very next day, by a 4-3 vote, decided against putting...more

The Basics: Municipal Election Laws

Nationwide, states are seeing an uptick in voter participation. California’s election officials are now preparing for a turnout surge as the state’s June 7 presidential primary nears. Over the last three months, more...more

The Challenges of the Evolving Marijuana Industry: Reconciling State Legislation with Federal Prohibition

Cultivation, production, distribution, or possession of marijuana is a federal criminal offense under the Controlled Substances Act (the CSA). Yet, despite federal prohibition, state-sanctioned marijuana industries have...more

News from Second and State; Pre-Election Edition

With little to report on the legislative front this week, the focus in Pennsylvania is Tuesday’s upcoming Primary Election. All 203 members of the House of Representatives and 25 of the 50 state Senators are up for...more

'Millionaire's Tax' Could Shake Off Ghosts of Failed Drives for Graduated Income Tax

Proposals to implement a graduated state income tax have twice been rejected by Massachusetts voters in my memory, first in 1972 and then in 1994. The margins of defeat in each case were overwhelming: 67% to 33%, and...more

Employment Practices Newsletter - April 2016

Is Labor Law Putting the Franchise Business Model at Risk? - Over the course of the last year, we have kept you abreast of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case law and Department of Labor (DOL) interpretive/...more

Ballot Initiative for Another Slots Parlor in Massachusetts

Massachusetts voters may have the choice to “hit” or “stand” on another gaming establishment. A potential ballot question for this November is whether the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (“MGC”) should be allowed to issue an...more

St. Patrick Parade Isn't Quite Wheezing but It's Time to Think about a Rescue Plan

The official celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Boston came mercifully to a close with the parade on Sunday, March 20, 2016 in Southie. What, if anything, will halt the forces transforming South Boston (and other parts...more

Path to recreational cannabis narrowing in California

Many advocates for cannabis reform laws in California believe that 2016 is the year that recreational cannabis will become legal in the state. As many as 60 state initiatives have been authorized to move forward and circulate...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - March 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Marin assemblymember proposes Australian water trading market approach to address drought - Marin Independent Journal - Feb 29 State Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-Marin County, has...more

Amid Growing Concerns Over the Proliferation of ADA Lawsuits, Congress and the California Legislature Address Measures to Curb ADA...

Since 2004, more than 20,000 ADA lawsuits have been filed in the country’s federal courts. The number of ADA filings in state courts is unavailable, but likely runs in the thousands. Nearly one half of all ADA lawsuits were...more

How to avoid CEQA environmental review by ballot initiative

The World Logistics Center is a massive project – 41 million square feet of logistics facilities located on 2,300 acres in Moreno Valley, California. The project has undergone environmental review for years, culminating in an...more

NJ Wage Hike Proposal – Will Employers Feel the Burn?

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been outspoken in his support of a $15/hour national minimum wage. However — at least for private employers – such a change can come only through joint action by both Congress and...more

Proposed Ballot Initiatives Tops 100 for 2016 Colorado Ballot

The number of ballot initiatives filed in Colorado for the Nov. 8, 2016 election topped 100 earlier this month. As of Monday, Feb. 22, 112 proposed initiatives have been filed with the state, a huge jump from the number of...more

Land Use Advisory: The Build Better LA Initiative—More Affordable Housing and Labor Agreements?

As you may have learned from the news, a coalition of labor and affordable housing advocates recently announced it may seek to place the “Build Better LA Initiative” (“labor initiative”) on the City of Los Angeles ballot in...more

Oregon's Minimum Wage Will Increase This July - And Each Year Thereafter For The Next Six Years

State Will Employ Three Different Regional Minimum Wages - In a first-of-its-kind development, the Oregon legislature passed and the Governor will sign into law a minimum wage hike law that will go into effect July 1,...more

San Diego Minimum Wage and Sick Pay Ordinance Placed On June Ballot

San Diego City Council members voted on February 8 to place a sick pay and minimum wage ordinance on the June 7 ballot. If approved by voters, the ordinance would require an immediate local minimum wage rate increase...more

Amidst the Raucous Debate in D.C., States Quietly Take Action on Rising Prescription Drug Prices

Rising drug prices and attempts to contain drug costs continue to take center stage at the federal level – particularly in the ramp-up to the 2016 presidential election. In January 2015, a bill was introduced that would...more

Ohio Senators Host Town Hall Meetings Regarding Medical Cannabis

Political discussions regarding the medical use of cannabis are ramping up in Ohio. On January 30, just two days after the first meeting of the Ohio House’s Medical Marijuana Task Force (the MMTF) in Columbus, Ohio, State...more

New Jersey Introduces Bill to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 per Hour by Constitutional Amendment

On February 11, 2016, New Jersey State Senate President Steven Sweeney, D-Gloucester, formally introduced legislation for a ballot referendum that would authorize an amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution to raise the...more

Ohio Medical Marijuana Task Force Committee Holds First Meeting

The Ohio House of Representatives’ Medical Marijuana Task Force (“Task Force”) convened its first meeting on Thursday, January 28, 2016 at the state capitol, and members of Benesch were in attendance. The Task Force was...more

Miller Canfield Secures Court Order Stopping Enforcement of Law Barring Objectively Neutral Speech by Public Officials

On February 5, 2016, United States District Court Judge John Corbett O’Meara issued an Opinion and Order granting a preliminary injunction and blocking enforcement of §57(3) of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which barred...more

New Law Limits Ability of Local Governments and School Districts to Communicate Regarding Ballot Questions

On January 6, 2016, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law Public Act 269 of 2015 (“Act 269”), which amends the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, Act 388, Public Acts of Michigan, 1976, as amended (“Act 388”). Among other...more

Public Projects in Turmoil: The Saga Of The Bay Bridge, Delta Tunnels, and High Speed Rail Would Make A Compelling Reality TV Show

It took nearly twenty-five years for the Bay Bridge to become a reality and before the paint was even dry on the self-anchored suspension span questions had already been raised about the design and seismic safety of the...more

A School Facilities Bond For 2016: Good News For Everyone

Over the last 15 years, California’s population has grown by approximately 5 million people—the same number filling the entire state of Colorado. This influx has created a housing shortage that the California market has...more

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