Limits on initiated Constitutional measures proposed | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Limits on initiated Constitutional measures proposed

Apr 24, 2013

North Dakota voters will be asked to approve a Constitutional amendment that would put some restrictions on initiated measures that spend money.

The resolution says initiated measures that spend money need to be voted-on in the General Election, not the primary. And it says that proposed Constitutional amendments that set up continuing appropriations would not be allowed at all.

"We think the policy is, if you're going to propose a measure that spends money on a continuous basis,  it should be a statutory measure," said Sen. David Hogue (R-Minot), a member of the conference committee that worked out the language.

Opponents said this kind of measure is not necessary.

“I think the people have used the power of the initiated measure process very responsibly," said Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider (D-Grand Fiorks). "In fact, the example cited by my friend from Minot, Measure Two, which was actually during the June 2012 election, went down overwhelmingly. That's a vindication and a validation of the people and the way they use this power.”

Measure Two would have eliminated all property taxes in North Dakota, replacing them with state spending.

The new Constitutional measure passed 29-18. It had earlier passed the House, and it will now be on the ballot in 2014.