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  • Writer's pictureKaren Young

Progressive policies going to the voters in 2024



Welcome to Winning Wednesday!

 

Ballot initiatives and Constitutional amendments are ways to get good laws on the books, even if state-level politicians are opposed to them.  It’s often the only way you can enact electoral reform policies that give more power to the people.  They can be great organizing tools, and can drive up turnout from people who aren’t so excited about the election in general. This often works in favor of Democrats and progressives.  There are some great ones on the ballot through the end of 2024.*

 

Just getting them on the ballot takes a lot of work, so that’s why I call this a win!  These are highlights, not a complete list.

 

Abortion

 

Florida is considering an initiative to provide a constitutional right to abortion before fetal viability, which is estimated to be around 24 weeks, or when necessary to protect the patient's health, as determined by the patient's healthcare provider.

 

Maryland is considering a Constitutional amendment to establish a right to reproductive freedom.

           

 

Marijuana Legalization

 

Idaho is still gathering signatures for marijuana legalization.

 

Florida is considering marijuana legalization for people 21 and over.

 

 

Miscellaneous

 

Nevada is considering a sales tax exemption for child and adult diapers.

 

 

Minimum Wage

 

CA is looking to raise the minimum wage to $18/hour.


Michigan may have a measure on the Nov ballot to raise the state minimum wage to $15/hour in stages by 2027.


I say “may” because this is called an “indirect initiated state statute.” This means it has gathered its signatures and now goes to the legislature for approval. If the legislature does not approve it in 40 days, it will go on the ballot for voters.



Ranked Choice Voting/Elections

 

Idaho hopes to create a top-four RCV system. They’re still collecting signatures for a May 1 deadline.

 

Nevada will vote on a proposal for open top-five primaries (that is, “jungle primary,” the top five vote getters regardless of party) and RCV for general elections, for the full spectrum of offices.  This proposal has already been passed once, but the law requires a second pass through the next general election.

 

Oregon will vote to establish ranked-choice voting for federal and state offices.

 

Connecticut is considering a no-excuses absentee ballot.

 

 

Housing

 

California will consider prohibiting state limitations on local rent control.

 

 

 

*The right also uses these tools to get reactionary policies into effect, and there are plenty of those on the ballot as well.  Their usefulness is limited by the fact that many states don’t have this option, and that the language the writers use can be almost impossible for a layperson to understand.  Some measures are initiated by the legislature, not by voters, usually not a good thing. All that said, ballot initiatives matter.

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