(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a transpartisan national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, calls on election officials in Montana to file charges against signature gatherers for the Initiative 161 campaign after forged petition signatures were found to have been submitted in four different counties in the state.
A group trying to repeal Montana’s medical marijuana law received the approved petition Friday evening and can now collect signatures to put the initiative on the November ballot.
A proposed ballot initiative that would divert alcohol tax money for prevention and treatment efforts as a way to reduce repeat drunk driving offenses is being scrapped amid state budget concerns. Backers of Initiative 163 announced Monday they will be withdrawing the petition from consideration on the November ballot. Current Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath, previously state attorney general, had been helping with the effort.
A group trying to repeal Montana’s medical marijuana law expects to have only about a week to collect the 24,000 signatures needed to get the initiative on the November ballot. Attorney General Steve Bullock’s office has written a summary of the initiative proposed by Safe Community, Safe Kids and has set a deadline of noon on Friday for interested parties to comment or accept the wording that would appear on the ballot.
The real estate industry has raised more than $600,000 so far to gather signatures for a ballot measure that would amend the Montana Constitution to forbid state and local governments from ever imposing taxes on real estate transfers or sales. The Coalition to Prevent Double Taxation has collected and spent more than any other group promoting or opposing Montana ballot measures this year, according to campaign finance reports filed this week with the state Commissioner of Political Practices Office.
Do over. That’s what some medical marijuana supporters and opponents want with the law that made the drug legal in Montana. Both sides are now pushing to get a new initiative on the November ballot. The new measure would repeal the very law voters approved that legalized the drug for medicinal purposes. The new initiative would ask voters to undo their 2004 decision legalizing medical marijuana and that’s leaving some strong opinions.
A coalition of Montana consumer groups is backing a voter initiative to cap interest rates for payday and title loans at 36 percent. Announcing their plans at a press conference Tuesday at the Great Northern Hotel, representatives of senior, low-income, women’s and religious groups said that in these tough economic times, interest rates of 400 percent or more amounted to a “debt trap” for the most vulnerable.
Montana Supreme Court Justice and former Attorney General Mike McGrath has unveiled a ballot initiative that would earmark $5 million per year in state alcohol taxes to pay for addiction treatment, prevention, and drug/DUI courts, KFBB-TV reported Feb. 9. The Montana Alcohol Abuse and Drug-Free Plan was announced during McGrath’s recent appearance before the legislature’s Law & Justice Interim Committee.
Under the headline, “Things a Chief Justice oughtn’t be doing,” Travis Kavulla over at Electric City Weblog writes: “Pitching a voter initiative qualifies in my book.”