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State Ballot Measures

In 2012, citizens across the country will be voting on as many as 176 state ballot measures. The National Council of Nonprofits and state associations of nonprofits are tracking ballot measures that could impact the work of charitable nonprofits. In some cases State Associations are actively using their First Amendment rights to support or oppose measures. The items listed on this page either directly impact the ability of charitable nonprofits to pursue their missions or address budget or revenue measures that could affect programs through which nonprofits provide services on behalf of governments for the people of the individual states.

Let us know if there is a state ballot measure not listed here that impacts the work of nonprofits. To learn the ballot measure resources currently available to nonprofits, visit NonprofitVOTE's resource page.

Arizona

The Quality & Education Jobs Initiative  

Rejected by Voters

Proposition 204 would renew a 2010 voter-approved one-cent sales tax to provide funding for education for students in the state who meet certain requirements, scholarships for college students, and reinvestment in vocational education and new jobs. See the position of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits.

The Open Elections/Open Government Initiative

Rejected by Voters

Proposition 121 would allow all voters to easily participate in primary elections by removing current obstacles to participation for voters who are not registered in one of the two largest political parties. See the position of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits.

Arkansas

Arkansas’s Economic Development Projects Measure

Approved by Voters

Issue 2 would permit a city or county to form one or more districts for the purpose of financing sales-tax anticipated revenue bond projects. A city or county which has formed such a district may issue bonds for the purpose of financing certain costs related to a project within the district, as determined by the General Assembly. For purposes of this section, the term “sales tax anticipated revenue bond project” means an undertaking, including without limitation the acquisition, development, redevelopment, and revitalization of land within the district, for eliminating or preventing the development or spread of slums or blighted, deteriorated, or deteriorating areas, for discouraging the loss of commerce, industry, or employment, for increasing employment, or any combination thereof, as may be defined by the General Assembly.

California

Temporary Education Funding Amendment

Approved by Voters

Proposition 30 would increases personal income tax on annual earnings over $250,000 for seven years, increases sales and use tax by ¼ cent for four years, and allocates temporary tax revenues 89 percent to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges. The proposition would bar use of funds for administrative costs, but provides local school governing boards discretion to decide, in open meetings and subject to annual audit, how funds are to be spent. It would also guarantee funding for public safety services realigned from state to local governments. See the summary prepared by the Attorney General and position of CalNonprofits.

California State and Local Budget Constitutional Amendment

Rejected by Voters

Proposition 31 would establish a two-year state budget cycle, prohibit the Legislature from creating expenditures of more than $25 million unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified, permit the Governor to cut budget unilaterally during declared fiscal emergencies if Legislature fails to act. The amendment would also require performance reviews of all state programs, performance goals in state and local budgets, and the publication of all bills at least three days prior to legislative vote. It would also grant counties power to alter state statutes or regulations related to spending unless Legislature or state agency vetoes changes within 60 days. See summary prepared by the Attorney General

Education and Early Childhood Programs Measure  

Rejected by Voters

Proposition 38 would increase personal income tax rates for annual earnings over $7,316 using sliding scale from .4% for lowest individual earners to 2.2% for individuals earning over $2.5 million, ending after twelve years. During first four years, 60% of revenues would go to K-12 schools, 30% to repaying state debt, and 10% to early childhood programs. Thereafter, the proposition would allocate 85% of revenues to K-12 schools, 15% to early childhood programs. The measure also would provide K-12 funds on school-specific, per-pupil basis, subject to local control, audits, and public input. It would prohibit the state from directing or using new funds. See summary prepared by the Attorney General and the position of CalNonprofits.

Florida

Religious Freedom Constitutional Amendment

Rejected by Voters

Amendment 8 would amend the Florida Constitution to provide that no individual or entity may be denied, on the basis of religious identity or belief, governmental benefits, funding or other support, except as required by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and would eliminate the prohibition against using revenues from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.

Louisiana

Tax Exemption Constitutional Amendment

Rejected by Voters

Constitutional Amendment 6 (H.R.497) would authorize the granting of ad valorem tax exemption contracts by the city of New Iberia for property annexed by the city after January 1, 2013.

Tax Exemption Constitutional Amendment

Approved by Voters

Constitutional Amendment 8 (HB 674) would authorize the granting of ad valorem tax exemption contracts by the Board of Commerce and Industry for businesses located in parishes which have chosen to participate in a program established for the granting of such contracts.

Michigan

Tax Hike Process Constitutional Amendment

Rejected by Voters

Proposal 5 would prohibit the imposition of new or additional taxes or expansion of the base of taxation by the State of Michigan unless approved by a 2/3 majority of members in each chamber of the legislature or by a statewide vote of the people. See the position of the Michigan Nonprofit Association.

Minnesota

Voter Identification Constitutional Amendment

Rejected by Voters

The Minnesota Voter Identification Constitutional Amendment (HF 2738) would require that all voters voting in person must present valid government-issued photographic identification before receiving a ballot. The state would be required to issue photographic identification at no charge to an eligible voter who does not have a form of identification meeting the requirements of this section. The amendment provides that a voter unable to present government-issued photographic identification would be permitted to submit a provisional ballot, and a provisional ballot would only be counted if the voter certifies the provisional ballot in the manner provided by law. The amendment also provides that all voters, including those not voting in person, must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification prior to a ballot being cast or counted. See the position of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Montana

Proof of Citizenship to Receive Certain State Services Referendum

Approved by Voters

Legislative Referendum No. 121 (HB 638) would require proof of citizenship in order for a person to receive certain state services. The proposal would also implement procedures for determining citizenship status.

Campaign Finance Initiative

Approved by Voters

Initiative I-166 would establish a state policy that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings, and charges Montana elected and appointed officials, state and federal, to implement that policy.  With this policy, the people of Montana would establish that there should be a level playing field in campaign spending, in part by prohibiting corporate campaign contributions and expenditures and by limiting political spending in elections.  The initiative would also charge Montana’s congressional delegation with proposing a joint resolution offering an amendment to the United States Constitution establishing that corporations are not human beings entitled to constitutional rights.

New Hampshire

Personal Income Tax Constitutional Amendment

Rejected by Voters

The New Hampshire Personal Income Tax Amendment (CACR 13) would provide that no assessment, rate, or tax on income earned by a natural person shall be levied by the state of New Hampshire except taxes in effect on January 1, 2012 and adjustments to the rate of such taxes. (Requires a 2/3 vote to pass).

Oklahoma

Public Welfare Department Constitutional Amendment

Approved by Voters

State Question 765 would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to repeal sections relating to the Department of Public Welfare, the Oklahoma Public Welfare Commission, and the Director of Public Welfare, and grant the Legislature the authority to create and direct by law the administration of a department or departments to provide for public welfare for the people of the state of Oklahoma.

Oregon

Estate Tax Phase-Out Initiative

Rejected by Voters

Measure 84 would phase out Oregon’s estate and inheritance taxes on all large estates, and all taxes on intra-family property transfers over four years. See the educational materials of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.

South Dakota

Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment

Approved by Voters

Amendment P would require the Governor to propose a balanced budget. In addition, Amendment P would prohibit legislative appropriations from exceeding anticipated revenues and existing available funds. While the constitution currently restricts the State from incurring debt, it does not expressly require the State to have a balanced budget.