Petition efforts strong at the ballot

February 2019

Keith Goble

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Citizens around the country acted over the past year to take matters into their own hands for getting issues they are passionate about before voters. Among the examples were opportunities to have the final word on transportation funding.

Following the California Legislature’s passage of a transportation funding deal to increase vehicle and fuel tax rates in late 2017, voters in one district collected enough signatures to hold a recall election for their state representative who voted in favor of the plan. Voters successfully recalled the legislator during a special election.

On the same topic, a petition effort collected the necessary signatures to allow voters statewide to decide whether they want to keep in place the vehicle tax and fee increases.

Voters statewide in Colorado decided on two successful petition efforts to address infrastructure needs via borrowing and/or a sales tax increase.

Oregon’s fall ballot included a question to require a three-fifths supermajority vote for legislation to make changes in taxes and fees. A successful petition drive secured the question’s place on the statewide ballot.

A separate effort is underway to collect the necessary signatures to include a question on the state’s 2020 ballot to require voters to approve adding tolls to existing roadways.

Another example of citizens taking matters into their own hands to pursue a change is found in Hillsborough County, Fla. There were enough signatures collected to include a question on the 2018 ballot to raise the local sales tax for better roads and transit. LL

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.