Power To The People Initiative

A North Carolina lawmaker has introduced legislation that would allow citizens to put issues on a ballot for a statewide vote.

Guilford County Republican Representative John Blust says House Bill 47, known as "Power of Initiative," is "An important tool for the people sometimes to get around the legislature when the legislature is not acting according to the will of the people."

The "Power of Initiative" would allow voters to propose any initiative they want and get it placed the statewide ballot, whether its term limits, proposals for or against gay marriage, issues involving the lottery, or anything you can think of.

But it wouldn't be easy. For an initiative to get on the ballot, you would need a petition that has signatures equal to at least twenty percent of the votes for all candidates for governor in the most recent election. Blust says it's a high percentage, but it would ensure frivolous measures would be weeded out.

So what's the likelihood the "Power of Initiative" will come before the full house? Representative Blust says, "It might depend on outside events. A scandal, an issue that triggers it and gets enough people behind it demanding it."

Right now the bill is in the House Rules Committee. We'll keep you posted on any progress.

You can also let legislators know what you think of the bill by clicking on the related link below and providing your feedback to them with phone calls and emails.

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  • by Harry Location: Salter Path on May 5, 2009 at 04:58 PM
    After hearing of Rep. Blust proposing HB 47 on your news tonight i e-mailed him of my support for it. I will contact our State Reps. for Carteret Co. also. Thank you WITN for informing the public of this.

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