What are the questions on the ballot in your state?

One can bemoan what a non-choice Obama versus Romney offers, but there are other issues on the ballot.  Here are the ballot issues for Colorado:

Amendment S: Increases the number and types of state employees exempt from Colorado’s civil service system; Change personnel and hirng procedures for filling vacancies in the state personnel system; expand hiring preferences for veterans;adjust the terms of service and duties for members of the State Personnel Board and the standard to remove certain members.

I plan to vote against this question.  I oppose veteran’s preferences.  We have had an all-volunteer military for close to 40 years.  As with affirmative action of other types, it is time to end this preference, not expand it.  If defeated, veterans will continue to be able to use veteran’s preference of five points on their initial hiring.  If passed, they will be able to continue to get the preference for all subsequent jobs. Once is enough if they are any good at what they do.

Another provision of the measure allows an additional 325 employees to be made exempt employees, which may point the way to a greater number of political appointments, because the exempt employees are usually the directors of a department.  It also allows two members of the 5-member personnel board to be removed by the governor.  Currently, three members of the panel are appointed by the goernor and two are elected by state employees. It is not clear whether the goernor can remove the members elected by the state employees.  If he can, he gets to “pack the board” with members who are receptive to his ideas.

Amendment 64: Regulates the growth, manufacture, and sale of marijuana in a system of licensed establishments overseen by state and local governments.  It allows anyone over 21 years of age to possess or transfer up to one ounce of marijuana to another person 21 years of age or older, keep up to six marijuana plants for personal use, and other provisions.  Supposely, tax will be charged for a permit, and the first $40 million raised ANNUALLY will go to build new schools.

I plan to vote for this measure. My feelings about allowing marijuana are not nearly as strong as my feelings against veteran’s preference.  Currently, one is fined about $300 for possession of marijuana as an administrative violation.

Amendment 65 is an attempt to overturn Citizens United and establish escampagn spending limits (unspecified) and disclosure of donations.  Essentially, if passed, the people are telling the legislature to propose, support, and ratify an amendment to the constitution that allows Congress and the states to limit campaign contributions and spending.  Sounds good to me. I’ll vote yes, but will be shocked if it takes less than 20 years to get the amendment passed.

In my former home state of Maryland, I watch Queston 4 with some interest.  It is a referendum on granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens.  The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition for the Univeersity of Maryland is about $18,000.  The state estimated that granting in-state tuition to illegal aliens would cost about $3.5 million per year.  I suspect that is the first-year cost, because $3.5 million covers the difference in cost for only about 200 students, presuming that the students get no financial aid. 

10 thoughts on “What are the questions on the ballot in your state?”

  1. I actually believe in veteran’s preferences, assuming the veteran served in Iraq or Afghanistan and is actually qualified for the job. This is the only affirmative action I support because I did lose a job years ago to a less qualified person because of race.

    I know last time there was a referendum to increase taxes to create a housing project near my house. I live in a nice area with very low poverty (something like 0000.3%)and many people here are probably upper middle class. There is a food pantry but apparently the majority come from a town about 20 minutes away that has a high poverty rate. Anyway this housing project referendum was defeating and figured as such because this is a very conservative town.

    I had to Google to see what will be on the ballot and found these for Illinois:

    LRCA HJRCA 49 Pension Would make it more difficult to increase the benefits off any pension or retirement system of the State.

    I’ll vote yes on this because the pensions in Illinois are out of control and there are people who worked one day getting pensions.

    LRCA “Lincoln Amendment” Admin of gov’t Would allow the public to enact ethics laws through ballot referendums.
    LRCA Treasurer and Comptroller Amendment Admin of gov’t Would merge Illinois’ treasurer and comptroller offices
    LRCA “Marsy’s Law” Amendment Law Would expand and increase the enforcement of crime victims’ rights.

    I’d have to look at these better. I can’t find any in my county though. I know someone wanted to put the gay marriage issue on the ballot but don’t see that again because it was defeated last time (I voted for it because I don’t care who gets married).

  2. I would agree that something should be done for veterans, which is why I like the present form of Colorado’s veterans’s preference. It is a one-time preference and applies only to the first job for which one is hired in Colorado. If they are qualified, adding even 5 points to their assessment score will make them difficult to beat.

    Most veterans’s preferences are of the same form: they get so many (5 (sufficient service to qualify) or 10 (disabled)) at the federal level, 5 in Colorado) points added to their assessment score for the job. If one retires from the military as a major/lieutenant commander or higher, they are not eligible for the veterans’s preference. This makes sense, because few officers who make major/lieutenant colonel will leave the military before retiring from the military with a pension. A more cynical person might note that the “officers’s club” will take care of them. However, if one leaves the military having served long enough to qualify (180 days of active duty, excluding training) without retiring from the military or retires with a service-connected disability at a rank lower than major/lieutenant commander, they have a lifelong eligibility for veterans’s preference. They would get at least 5 points, and 10 points if they received a Purple Heart or were disabled.

    There is also a question at the local level to require our Congressman to support a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. I just received my mail-in ballot.

  3. We have 2:

    Would define justices and judges’ salary in relation to benefits
    To approve borrowing 750M to upgrade state college campuses

    Who do we borrow 750M FROM for the upgrade? I’d love to know who that will come from.

  4. There are still tax advantages to tax-free municipal bonds, which is how the money would be raised. I’d also expect Rutgers and other state universities to make a big push for donations from alumni in conjunction with the bond issue, if approved.

    The donation that Glassboro State College received in return for renaming it Rowan University was a one-time thing. I believe that a good chunk of the money that is planned to be raised by the bonds will go to the establishment of a medical school near Camden to be associated with Rowan.

  5. What good is a vet being hired for a civil service job if he gets a 75 on the exam? He ranks ahead of a non vet who got a much higher score?

    That has to go. Sorry.

  6. I’m not talking that but rather if a vet from Afghanistan comes home and scores a 90 and someone else scores a 95 or so then yes the vet should get preference. After all he served and put himself in danger. Vets are the only ones I support affirmative action for though and do not feel race should give someone extra points (as was the case in Illinois and might still be). The race based affirmative action was so bad in Illinois (and might still be)that when I apply for a government based job I list myself as Hispanic and/or Native American (and I can pass as either so it has never been an issue).

  7. Dude, in your hypothetical case, the veteran who scored 75 on the test (or list of appraisal questions) would get 5 points added to his score in the case of a 5-point preference (pretty much anyone who served 180 days of active duty other than for training and was honorably discharged gets this), making his score 80, which means that he MIGHT be qualified, but not best qualified, which means that they do not make the list of candidates that can be considered for the job and so would not get the job. The same is true for a 10-point preference, which one gets if they got a Purple Heart or an award for valor. Their score would be 85, still not high enough to be referred to the hiring official. My best GUESS is that the cutoff to be referred for a job is about 90. This is based on scores that I have received where I was referred for the engineering or project management job. They could vary in other fields.

    Where it gets sticky is with veterans who are getting a disabiliity pension. If they are otherwise qualified, it takes a lot of work on the part of the hiring official to decline to hire the disabled veteran for an office job. There may be physical selection factors, such as the ability to carry 60 pounds regularly, as is required of warehouse workers, that might rule out the veteran.

    Military spouses also get a one-time 5-point hiring preference that is usually used when the military spouse is overseas, and the spouse goes overseas with the service member. The military spouse also has the option to compete for jobs on their own merit.

  8. NYC civil service is similar, adding 5 or 10 points to one’s test score based on veteran status.

    Here in New York there are no questions on the ballot most years. One thing that comes up from time to time is a bond issue. In the early 1950s, there was a bond issue to build a Second Avenue subway. Voters approved it, but then the money was redirected into improvements in the existing system, and not one shovel of earth was turned on Second Avenue. Transportation bond issues have been difficult to approve ever since.

    But my other question about ballot questions is, how long do they apply? In New York in the 1990s, we had two referenda on term limits for the Mayor and City Council. Both came out in favor of term limits. But then Mayor Bloomberg, wanting a third term, lobbied the City Council to change the law. I thought it was shabby, but voted for Bloomberg anyway, as the other candidate was far worse. Respecting the will of the voters is one thing, but it’s also fair to recognize that circumstance change over time. I remember reading that, in Alaska, when an issue is decided by referendum, the legislature can change it back two years later. That seems short to me, but it’s clear.

  9. I’d want to see at least one election cycle to pass before the legislature could vote to overturn the referendum. It’s a good question. My guess is that the legislature (or city council, for local questions) aren’t allowed to overturn the referendum immediately.

    As with many things, I’d have to look it up.

  10. Clarification on Question 4 in Maryland. The referendum is to REPEAL the existing ability of illegal immigrants to get in-state tuition. The original law was passed about a year ago.

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