Letter to the editor: Constitutional amendments
Editorís Note: Doug Hausler, author of this Letter to the Editor, is chairman of the Democratic Party of Carroll County.
The news has been replete with calls to solicit your vote to determine the next people we will be electing in this political cycle.†One of the areas that may have slipped off of your radar are three constitutional amendments for Arkansas voters to vote upon.†The†University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service has provided information that residents should strongly consider before casting their ballot.††The reference is provided below.††Here are some of the key highlights of these proposed amendments.
Issue 1: Road Improvement Tax
This proposal, drafted by the Legislature, asks voters to approve a permanent 0.5 percent sales tax, dedicated to maintaining, repairing, and improving highways, roads and streets. Seventy percent of the revenue would go to the Arkansas Department of Transportation, 15 percent to county governments, and 15 percent to city governments.
Vote your choice.†Supporters say this proposal will provide $8.2 billion of economic activity over 10 years.††The opposition says that the Highway Department always wants new money; itís never enough.
Issue 2: Term Limits
This proposal, drafted by the Legislature, asks voters to change term limits for legislators.††If approved, it would remove lifetime limits.††
Vote NO!††An AGAINST vote means you are not in favor of changing the Arkansas Constitution regarding term limits and want to maintain the existing lifetime limit of serving up to 16 years in the Legislature.†Among states with term limits, Arkansas already has the maximum number of years people can serve.
Issue 3: Citizen Initiatives
Citizen Initiatives are used when the Legislature refuses to address a public issue.†Citizen Initiatives have been used to raise the minimum wage, to allow medical marijuana usage and to allow casino gaming taxes to stay in Arkansas.
This proposal, drafted by the Legislature, significantly changes the rules for Citizen Initiatives.†It increases the number of counties where signatures must be collected, changes the date for Citizen Initiative submission, eliminates extra time allowed to collect signatures, and makes it more difficult to sue the state when the state challenges a petition.††
Vote NO!††An AGAINST vote means you are not in favor of changing the process for citizen proposed initiatives.†This proposal will make it virtually impossible to get a citizen petition on future ballots and that is their goal.
Please take your civic responsibility seriously and VOTE.†††
Vote for government that works for its citizens.
ó Doug Hausler