Ballot Measures

News & Analysis as of

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

The Home-Sharing Economy

Long before Airbnb, short-term home rental platforms, such as VRBO and Vacation Home Rentals, connected individuals looking for hotel alternatives. Recently, however, the notion of short-term home rentals has become a...more

Single-Payer Health Care Plan Makes Ballot, Beer and Wine Initiatives Filed

On Nov. 9, 2015, the Colorado Secretary of State announced that the proponents of a ballot measure to create a single-payer state health care system had submitted a sufficient number of signatures for the measure to appear on...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - November 2015 #1

Environmental and Policy Focus - MWD will try to buy Delta islands for water storage, habitat purposes: Los Angeles Times - Nov 10: The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) board voted on Tuesday to...more

New Presumptions of Coordination in CA Political Communications/Independent Expenditures

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (“FPPC”) has overhauled its regulations that define when an independent expenditure will be deemed to have been coordinated with a candidate or ballot measure committee. ...more

Draft Guidelines for Planning Grants Released by California Department of Water Resources

Guidelines Will Drive Funding Process; Comments Due Oct. 5 - With the passage of the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (Proposition 1), California voters authorized the issuance of $7.1...more

Brownstein Colorado Ballot Initiative Tracker

Brownstein’s Political Law Group presents this comprehensive tracker of all Colorado statewide ballot initiatives proposed during the 2015-2016 cycle, including any appeals from the Title Board to the Colorado Supreme Court....more

Lawsuit Challenges Ohio’s Disqualification of Local Anti-Frac Ballot Initiatives

Residents in three Ohio counties have sued the state after Secretary of State Jon Husted invalidated three ballot proposals to ban hydraulic fracturing projects in Fulton, Medina, and Athens counties. The bans, if passed,...more

Massachusetts Legislature Ends Active July with Budget Overrides

After a busy final few weeks of activity, the Massachusetts Legislature departed for its summer recess with a new budget and progress on several priority policy issues. In addition to overriding $97 million in Governor...more

Proposed Prop 13 Reforms in California

Since February 2015, California state legislators have proposed several bills to modify the limitations on property tax increases established by Proposition 13 (Prop. 13). These bills include Senate Constitutional Amendment 5...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - Water rights ruling a setback for California drought regulators: Sacramento Bee - Jul 10: In a significant ruling that could hinder California's ability to order water cutbacks, a judge...more

San Francisco’s Minimum Wage Increases to $12.25 on May 1, 2015

On May 1, 2015, the minimum wage within the city limits of San Francisco will rise to $12.25 per hour. All employers, regardless of where their facilities are located, must pay this new minimum wage for all hours worked to...more

Alaska Voters Approve Measure Legalizing Marijuana for Adult Recreational Use

On November 4, 2014, Alaska voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over. With passage of the measure, Alaska joined Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and the...more

Voters in Four Jurisdictions Pass Sick Leave Ballot Initiatives

The national sick leave trend continues to gain momentum as voters in Massachusetts, Trenton and Montclair, New Jersey, and Oakland, California approved ballot initiatives requiring employers within each jurisdiction to...more

Doctors, Lawyers and the Controversial Prop 46

What's the most controversial measure on California's November ballot? The insurance regulation bill, Prop 45, may be a good contender – but more than likely the controversy over Proposition 46 will win the contest hands...more

San Diego Minimum Wage Ordinance Put On Ice

San Diego’s hotly contested minimum wage ordinance has been put on ice until at least 2016. The City Council approved the ordinance in July and then later overrode the mayor’s veto. A petition drive by San Diego business...more

To Campaign or Not to Campaign: A Refresher

As November elections and some major ballot measures loom, and as 2016 general election candidates start copping to “thinking about a run,” now seems a good time to revisit the impartiality required of public agencies and...more

California's Prop 45: Sticking it to "the Man" or to the People?

Continuing our series covering the various measures Californians will see on the 2014 midterm election ballot, we now turn to Proposition 45, or the Public Notice Required for Insurance Company Rates Initiative....more

Land Use By Another Name?: Local Governments Seek to Tax Softdrinks By Ballot Measure

Our regular readers will know that this blog is as much about land use, specifically, as it is about local government powers, generally, and the direct and indirect impacts on land use....more

Public Officials and Agencies: To Campaign or Not to Campaign?

California law allows public agencies to expend public money and resources to educate voters on matters included on an upcoming election ballot. State law does not permit using public money or resources to advocate on behalf...more

SB 1272 (NKA Proposition 49) – The Secretary of State

Last week, I wrote that Governor Brown had allowed SB 1272 to become law without his signature. To say that SB 1272 became law is an hyperbole because, as Governor Brown observed, the bill “has no legal effect whatsoever”. ...more

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