Eye On Olympia

It’s as if Tim Eyman moved to Idaho…

Washington initiative pitchman Tim Eyman's sole surviving ballot measure may be on life-support at this point*, but his peers in other states have been busy this year.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 59 citizen initiatives are on state ballots across the country this year. (Another 30 measures, including Eyman's, await verification of the signatures turned in by organizers.)

The major topics:

Eminent domain/property rights: Voters in at least 10 states will consider property measures. Some prohibit the government from taking property for private use. Others -- including measures proposed in both Washington and Idaho -- require government to compensate property owners for value lost to zoning or other regulations, or to exempt them from those rules.
-Same-sex marriage: At least six states, including Idaho, will weigh in one the issue, according to NCSL. In Colorado, voters could face three proposals, including one to ban same-sex marriage and one to legalize civil unions.
-Smoking: At least six states -- again, including Idaho -- will consider bans or public-place restrictions, higher tobacco taxes or ways to spend money from the multi-state tobacco settlement.
-Tax and Spending Limits: Among them: Washington's proposed repeal of the state estate tax.
-Abortion: California and Oregon voters will decide whether to enact waiting periods and parental notification for minors. In South Dakota, voters will give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down to a new state law that would declare abortion illegal there.

Also on the ballot, according to NCSL: Term limits, school funding, drug policies and campaign finance.

*A sampling of the I-917 signatures by the Secretary of State's office suggests that the measure doesn't have enough valid names to qualify. And as if that's not enough, one of the state's top-tier law firms is suing to block the measure from appearing on the November ballot.

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