April 2, 2003
Legislatures Going Into
Overdrive To Isolate Themselves From The People
We hold these truths to be
self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their
creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are
instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the
governed..." Declaration of Independence adopted by unanimous consent
of Congress, July 4, 1776.
It is no secret that J.A.I.L. is seeking to
pass judicial accountability constitutional amendment initiatives within
every state that has such process, and through all the legislatures that do not.
Ironically, all of a sudden, the various state legislatures are going into
overdrive to avert this process in an effort to protect themselves from the
very people to whom they are accountable, and to whom they must derive their
just powers. Indeed, we are to be a "government of the people, by the people,
and for the people," but legislatures, by action, are disputing the premise
that governments have no just powers but that which is loaned to them by
consent of the people. It is obvious that ultimate power must rest with the
people. If not the people, then it rests entirely with an arbitrary
Below is a showing that legislators around
America are willing to show that they believe that they not only do not need
consent of the people, but at their will they may over-power the people, and act
This is why J.A.I.L. must grow to an
overwhelming movement of people to counter this type of thinking, and the
willingness to make surfs of everyone of us. We must not lose sight of
two facts, "All power is inherent in the people; ...they may exercise it by
themselves; that is their right and duty," Thomas Jefferson, and that no Army on
earth can stop an idea whose time has come. ~ Ron Branson
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2003 6:46 AM
Subject: A hodge podge of I&R issues / I&R Update
Following are a few issues that I thought I would bring to
attention. This update includes information on current attempts
restrict the initiative process (as reported by I&R watchers across
Restrict and Regulate I&R as well as overturn issues adopted by the people.
(from Karen Bretz in AK)
The ones to watch out for are HB 31 and
HJR 5. These bills are
routinely filed by Representative Williams to
make it more difficult for
petitions to make the ballot. HB 31 would
increase the number of
signatures that we will have to get from rural areas,
which will make
signature collecting more difficult and expensive. It
will be more
difficult for a petition sponsor in the state's largest cities
to collect signatures because he will have to get a greater percentage from the
rural areas, which are very expensive to get to. The proponents of
bills are selling it as a requirement that before an issue hits the
that it have more broad based support. .... This argument is bogus and
obscures the real reason behind the
Bill: HCR 2017. Purpose: Changes the date by which initiative
have to be filed with the secretary of state from four months
election to seven months before the election. Status: Passed the
held in Senate Judiciary Committee.
Bill: HCR 2018. Purpose:
Requires that initiatives that are approved by
voters and cause a fiscal
impact to the state of $10 million or more in
any fiscal year be referred to
voters again every eight years. Status:
Passed the House.
2022 Purpose: Requires that all initiative or referendum
measures that need
the mandatory expenditure of money must provide for an increased source of
revenue that would cover the cost. Status:
Cleared committees and awaiting
full House debate.
Bill: HCR 2023 Purpose: Requires individuals or
groups who are
petitioning for statewide initiatives or referendums to get a
percentage of signatures from at least five counties. Status:
House Judiciary Committee, but never heard in the House Committee
on Government and Retirement.
Bill: HCR 2024 Purpose: Would allow the
Legislature proportionately to reduce an appropriation to a specific purpose
from an initiative or
referendum if the money approved for the purpose is
cover all of its cost. Status: Passed the House, now in the
Bill: SCR 1003 Purpose: ... would suspend voter protection
of state spending in times of fiscal crisis. Status: Cleared committees and
awaiting a Senate floor debate.
Find information on these and other
bills online atwww.azleg.state.az.us
(From Pete Maysmith in
CO - head of CO Common Cause)....
Legislators (at least in Colorado) have moved beyond attacking just
process to attacking voters decisions. This is the height of
legislative arrogance and I think will continue to destroy confidence in our
elected officials and politics. Rational people will ask - "why should I
participate if they are just going to undo what I vote for?"
House bill would allow legislators to ignore voters while voting yes on the
bill. Some lawmakers called it an arrogant measure that treats citizens
like children. Associated Press / March 21, 2003
TALLAHASSEE -- A House panel on Thursday approved a proposal that would let
state lawmakers ignore changes that people make to the state Constitution by
petition drive. Lawmakers could also disregard changes voters have already made
to the Constitution.... The legislative proposal has a long way to
go. Since it would change their right to change the Constitution by citizen
initiative, it would have to be approved by voters. To get to the 2004 ballot,
the legislation needs approval of three-fifths of the House and Senate.
.... the Legislature could decide not to implement constitutional
provisions that originate by petition drive if lawmakers think they are too
Rep. Randy Johnson, R-Celebration, who sponsored the
legislation, said .... it's the prerogative of the Legislature to decide
what gets funded and what doesn't -- even things mandated by voters, he said.
Maine (from an I&R supporter
LD389: An Act to Amend the Laws Governing Municipal Citizen
Initiatives and Referenda
If this bill passes, it would mean that a
"municipal ordinance or bylaw
enacted by citizen initiative or referendum may
not invalidate, repeal,
revoke, modify or have the effect of invalidating,
or modifying any building permit, zoning permit, land use
subdivision approval, site plan approval, rezoning,
variance or other action..."
In real terms this means
.The foundations of a citizen democracy are endangered: all power
land use decisions is suddenly taken from the citizens and given to town
planners, zoning officials, and the town council, without question.
Often, the process of rezoning happens in a manner purposely aimed
avoiding public attention and scrutiny. If LD 389 passes, not only
citizens been kept in the dark about these decisions, they also have
recourse once the rezoning plans come to light!
Our right to
initiative and referendum, although not unique to this state, is a powerful tool
given to Mainers through our state Constitution. The assault to our right
to initiative and referendum, whether it be minute or a full-scale attack, is an
attack on our basic constitutional right to
Barbara Anderson in MA)
In Massachusetts. State Senator Stanley
Rosenberg (D-Amherst) has filed a constitutional amendment (Senate Bill 362)
that would effectively kill the I&R here. It increases the number of
signatures required from three percent of the entire vote for governor at the
preceding biennial state election to three percent of registered
Legislators jealously guard their power - March
SUMMARY: Not content to override voter-approved laws, legislators also
are attacking the initiative process itself.
The last election is long
past, the next one a long way off. So, we're
hearing a lot less of the things
legislators say to get elected and getting a closer look at what they really
think. The clear message from many lawmakers in Helena this winter is that they,
not you, know best.
The contempt that too many elected lawmakers have for
citizens is plain
to see in the series of bills seeking to override ballot
measures approved by voters - term limits, the ban on mining with cyanide, use
tobacco-settlement funds and game farms. .... many of them have every
intention of defying the clearly expressed will of voters.
evidence comes in the form of House Bill 719, passed by state
last month and now pending in the Senate. HB 719 targets the initiative process
itself, not any specific law enacted by voters. It would change the deadline for
gathering signatures on initiative petitions - to six months before election
day, instead of the current four months. .... This bill also asserts
greater legislative control over the contents of petitions - requiring inclusion
of adversary critiques by legislative staffers, for example. It would also give
legislative staffers space in the official voter's pamphlet for their comments.
The unmistakable message - already endorsed by a majority of the House, mind you
- is that making laws is a job for legislators; the public can't be
All of this is rather ironic when you consider the fact that in
the nearly 95 years that Montanans have had the constitutional right to enact
laws by initiative, citizens have proposed scores of measures but approved
relatively few - several dozen. Initiatives receive great scrutiny and prompt
much debate, and by the time an election is held, the vast majority of voters
know exactly what they're voting on. Contrast that to the nearly 2,000 laws
legislators propose each session and the hundreds they pass, sometimes with
legislators themselves complaining they don't know for what they've
The initiative process is a democratic safety valve. It's a means
citizens to enact laws when politicians aren't responsive or
interests wield too much control over government institutions.
Montanans have used their initiative powers sparingly and responsibly over the
But that's beside the point here. Backers of HB 719 aren't saying
initiative process has been ill-used. They don't like that it's used
Nebraska (from Dick Buntgen
In Nebraska, LB154 has been introduced. It will give the Secretary
State the power to reject petitions if he thinks the language is
inadequate. The Petitioners would than have to go to court to
North Dakota (from
Charlene Nelson in ND)
HCR3016 was a bill that would amend the
Constitution and allow the
Legislature to pass a law requiring a fiscal
statement for every
initiated measure that would impact state revenues or
than $1 million. It was soundly defeated 78-15 on
2-13. On 2-18
HCR3069 was introduced. It is virtually the same
bill as 3016 except
that it requires a financial statement on all bills, no
impact necessary. After a second round of hearings, the
Revision Committee voted 9-1 Do Not Pass, which usually means
the death of a bill. But 3 days later it passed the House 52-38. In
just one day it went from the House to the Senate calendar. We were caught
unawares, thinking the Do Not Pass recommendation meant the bill was
doomed. Once we learned it had passed we had 2 days to marshal our
opposition, but it left us too little time to be effective. The bill
passed the Senate 29-17.
Now that HCR3069 has passed, it
will be placed before the people for a vote on the June 2-04 primary
ballot. If the people vote for the
amendment then the 2005 Legislature
will be authorized to pass a law
requiring a fiscal statement on all
initiatives. So there are still a couple more phases this has to go
through before it affects our I&R rights. We will be battling to
preserve those rights at each of those stages.
Utah (from Bart Grant in
SB28 in Utah has been passed by both houses of the legislature.
session has ended and the Governor has not signed the bill yet,
could any day. SB28 would make it IMPOSSIBLE to even bring
initiative to the ballot. .... Allows ONLY 1 YEAR (instead of the
current 2 general election cycles) to qualify initiatives. ....
Initiative & Referendum Institute
Leesburg, VA 20178
(703)723-9621 (office - direct)
It's time we, as a nation, take serious our duty
to prevent the various state legislatures from closing the door on
peoples redress, which is exactly what they secretly are designing to do.
When the government fears the power of the people, there will be liberty, and
there is nothing that will throw the fear of the people into our public servants
more than passage of the J.A.I.L. Initiative / Legislation in all fifty states.
Do they mean to have a war? You better believe it! Once the people have
installed judicial accountability into their state's Constitution by
J.A.I.L., the legislators know that without the protection of the
judiciary, their day of reckoning is at hand.
Again, I reiterate, "All power is inherent in the
people; ...they may exercise it by themselves; that is their right and
duty," and no Army on earth can stop an idea whose time has
come. ~Ron Branson
J.A.I.L. is an acronym for Judicial
Accountability Initiative Law
JAIL's very informative website is found at www.jail4judges.org
JAIL proposes a
unique new addition to our form of government.
JAIL is powerful! JAIL is
dynamic! JAIL is America's ONLY hope!
JAIL is spreading across America like a
fast moving wildfire!
JAIL is making inroads into Congress for federal
JAIL may be supported at P.O. Box 207, N. Hollywood, CA
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what J.A.I.L. can do for me, but ask what I can do for J.A.I.L.
"..it does not require a majority to prevail,
but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's
minds.." - Samuel Adams
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of
evil to one who is
striking at the
-- Henry David Thoreau