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

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: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

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

  • Two more get prison for feeding program fraud

    Two more people got prison sentences today for defrauding the state-run program that uses federal money to provide meals to poor children.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Friday's open line

    Here's today's video. And it is the open line.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Steve Bannon leaving White House

    The odious Steve Bannon, right-wing nationalist, is departing his White House job as strategist for Donald Trump.  Alas, Trump is still there.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Friday's open line

    • I had a busy afternoon but did manage to be in the mighty truck when…

    • on August 19, 2017
  • Re: What's your Big Idea for Arkansas?

    • Do you need an urgent loan to start up business, debt loan? buy a car…

    • on August 19, 2017
  • Re: Friday's open line

    • Cato, you could see where Glibbus was going immediately in prelude to his "dramatic" one-liner…

    • on August 18, 2017

Blogroll

 

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