The reason we need to do this is because our system is broken, with rich assholes calling the shots, shots that drive your family into the ground.
I got the idea for this from a comment on MT Cowgirl today:
Here’s the procedure:
- First, you need to write out an initiative that’s just 135 words long;
- Then, 14 days after submission, the Secretary of State will get back to you…though I wouldn’t count on this as she hasn’t gotten back to me on which legislators are term-limited in 2016…like she said she would.
- After that, the state will prepare the fiscal note for the initiative if the initiative will impact the state’s finances;
- Next, you can look at recommendations from the state and adjust your petition, then submit it for final approval;
- Finally, you can start collecting signatures to get that initiative on the ballot.
Montanans can do this with any issue they want. You can make something legal illegal and you can take something that’s against the law and make it right. This is the power that you as an American have, and the state would rather you don’t know about that.
One important thing to keep in mind is how many signatures you’d need to get an initiative on the ballot. It’s tied to the number of people that voted in the last gubernatorial election. There’s a good table on Ballotedia, and for 2016 we’ll need this:
- Constitutional Amendment: 48,349 signatures;
- Statute: 24,174 signatures;
- Veto Referendum: 24,174 signatures.
Where things get a little tricky is that you need to get signatures in 40 of the state’s 100 House districts, and you need to get 10% of the electors to sign in those 40 districts. e-signatures cannot be gathered. You also have one year to collect those signatures, after the petition was approved.
Once you get all those signatures they need to be verified, and for that they go to those districts where county officials check them out using a random sample. After that it’s on the ballot, though you have to expect that many of the powers-that-be will challenge you in court.
- Increase the Montana Minimum Wage;
- Repeal Oil Tax Holiday;
- Legalize Marijuana;
- Early Childhood Education;
- Stop Federal Spying;
- Eliminate County Special Tax Districts;
- Consolidate Montana Counties.
Those are a few issues that we will need to address, and the voter initiative process is a great strategy. I’m thinking about running for Missoula City Council, and getting signatures door-to-door would be easy. With some coordination with the Montana Democratic Party, getting the required signatures in far-flung districts shouldn’t be a problem.
“So, it’s alright for rich, mega-oil companies to get tax breaks and pay no taxes on their income, but it’s not alright for poverty-ridden fast food workers to do the same? Why is that…and if you don’t like it, maybe we should change it. After all, wouldn’t it be fair to level that playing field and just do away with the oil tax breaks…if you don’t want to give tax breaks to workers living in poverty.”
I think you could get that through, and Montana Democrats need to think about this…or are they still in bed with the corporations? If that’s the case, might as well just give up on Montana politics for good, don’t you think?