Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Secretary of state lists casino and second marijuana amendment in preparation for November ballot.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 9:31 AM

Secretary of State Mark Martin's office this morning quietly posted a list of ballot initiatives for the November election that included both a measure to legalize three casinos in the state and a second medical marijuana proposal, a constitutional amendment.

This does NOT mean those two amendment have cleared the signature verification process. Said office spokesman Chris Powell:

Thursday was the deadline for our office to certify candidates and ballot issues for the general election. Two ballot issues, the casino amendment and the medical marijuana amendment have not yet been officially certified as being sufficient. However, due to ballot certification deadlines, they have been certified to the ballot and assigned a number. Should either petition not be deemed sufficient, the measure would still appear on the ballot, but the votes would not be reported. (See A.C.A. 7-5-203 and 7-5-204 for the relevant code requirements). I expect word on their sufficiency soon.

Backers of both those measures believe they have submitted sufficient signatures.

Signature approval wouldn't necessarily end the process. A lawsuit has already been filed against an initiated act to allow medical marijuana, though a similar measure withstood a court challenge two years ago. The opponents of that measure presumably would be interested in challenging the constitutional amendment version as well, though its lead backer, Little Rock lawyer David Couch, has told me the Friday Law Firm, which  filed the challenge for opponents, would have an unspecified conflict in suing him on the amendment.

Backers of the casino amendment have long expected opponents to mount a legal challenge once the signature verification process was complete. The amendment would give private investment groups named in the amendment sole right to open casinos in Washington, Boone and Miller counties. The Cherokee tribe of Oklahoma has financed much of the petition drive and has said it has agreement with the private groups to operate a casino in Washington County if the measure is approved. Arkansas now has two casinos — at the Southland and Oaklawn racetracks.

The medical marijuana amendments differ in that the initiated act would allow nonprofit dispensaries regulated by the state Health Department while the amendment would establish for-profit dispensaries regulated like alcoholic beverage dealers. The former would allow a limited amount of personal cultivation of marijuana. The amendment would not.

Also on the ballot are three legislative amendments: 1) four-year terms for county officers, including sheriffs; 2) ending the governor's loss of power when out of state, and 3) a corporate welfare amendment to allow taxpayer-backed bonds for private business and taxpayer subsidies to chambers of commerce.

There's another petition-backed amendment, the nursing home lobby's effort to discourage lawsuits by setting a low cap on non-economic damages in abuse and neglect and malpractice cases and a cap on attorney fees. It is under challenge in court as having an insufficient ballot title that doesn't identify all the changes it will make in existing law.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The freeway department talks fairness. No, not about making truckers pay fair share

    Noel Oman of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported on plans underway at the Arkansas freeway department to raise the license fee for electric cars to what a gas-powered car pays in fuel taxes, maybe $180 a year. Fair? They say yes; I'm not so sure.
    • Jan 16, 2017
  • Goodson draws home staters for appeal in class action case

    John Goodson, the Texarkana lawyer, has a Feb. 7 date with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to argue that he shouldn't have been disciplined by federal District Judge P.K. Holmes for switching a class action case against an insurance company out of federal court into a state court that speedily approved a settlement.
    • Jan 16, 2017
  • Free beer tomorrow: Trump's health plan

    Donald Trump has proclaimed that he has a health care plan coming that will cover everyone — yes, UNIVERSAL COVERAGE — and have lower deductible payments. More coverage for less, he suggests, with plenty of pain for Big Pharma in tough negotiating.
    • Jan 16, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • UPDATE: Retired Arkansas Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe dies at 81

    Townsend Durant Wolfe, III, retired director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center, has died at 81.
  • Subpoenas identify names of federal interest in kickback probe

    The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District today provided me with the subpoena it received from federal investigators in a probe that led to former Republican Rep. Micah Neal's guilty plea to taking kickbacks from money he guided to a nonprofit agency and a private college in Springdale, apparently Ecclesia College.
  • Human Services says it's eliminated Medicaid application backlog

    The state Human Services Department has informed Gov. Asa Hutchinson that it has all but eliminated a backlog in applications for Medicaid coverage.
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
  • Glass houses

    Having gotten a deep security briefing and probably a confidential glimpse of our own vast cyberspying operation, Donald Trump is no longer pretty sure that the Kremlin didn't hack Democratic computers or employ other tactics to help his election.

Visit Arkansas

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived

Most Viewed

  • Pork barrel included more than $40,000 for ozone therapy shipped from NWA to Benton

    Blogger Russ Racop uncovers another curious bit of spending of the pork barrel money known as the General Improvement Fund: Shipment of more than $40,000 from Northwest Arkansas legislators' allotment to a little-known outfit in Saline County that promotes an alternative medicine known as ozone therapy. Familiar legislative names were involved.
  • Google says: It's Lee's Birthday in Arkansas

    Several people have been shocked in checking to see whether a business or government office was open today and found, along with normal hours, a statement that hours might vary because it is Robert E. Lee's birthday in Arkansas and hours might differ. No mention of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Save my health care. Just don't call it Obamacare

    A reporter for the Toronto Star visited Arkansas to illustrate the irony, to use a kind word, that abounds in the rush by Republicans to repeal Obamacare.
  • North Little Rock defends the Jerry Jones gift to cops, but ...

    North Little Rock has filed its formal defense of the expensive gift of an outing to a Dallas Cowboy football game to North Little Rock cops. But questions remain.
  • Goodson draws home staters for appeal in class action case

    John Goodson, the Texarkana lawyer, has a Feb. 7 date with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to argue that he shouldn't have been disciplined by federal District Judge P.K. Holmes for switching a class action case against an insurance company out of federal court into a state court that speedily approved a settlement.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation