Legislators aren’t honest.
Or maybe in Colorado and Oregon they just don’t understand the meaning of words . . . like “safety” and “emergency.” (Heck, there was once a politician unsure of what the meaning of the word “is” is.)
“The state constitution gives Coloradans the power to challenge news laws through citizen initiative,” explains the Independence Institute’s Mike Krause in a recent Freedom Minute video.
In order to force a popular vote, the referendum process requires citizens to submit petitions before the “effective date” of the new law. If a law is deemed truly “vital to public peace, health and safety,” however, the legislature may add what’s known as a “safety clause.” That puts the law into immediate effect . . . thereby blocking the people’s referendum power to petition that new law to the ballot.
Krause discloses that a majority of 2015 bills passed in Colorado contained so-called safety clauses — 68 percent in the Senate and 55 percent in the House.
In Oregon, the tactic is referred to as an “emergency clause.” There, too, most bills are passed as emergencies to block any citizen response.
Tired of legislators using fake emergencies to disenfranchise voters, attorney Eric Winters drafted an initiative mandating a two-thirds vote of both House and Senate for legislation with an emergency clause. Now a grassroots coalition has formed to petition his “No More Fake Emergencies Act” onto the ballot.
Last year, The Oregonian warned that by “abusing the emergency clause” and “attacking the prerogatives of voters,” legislators were inviting “a backlash.”
Taking the initiative, citizens will stop fake emergencies with genuine democracy.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.