Washington DC — This week, Stateline covered recent efforts by conservative state legislators to crack down on citizen-initiated ballot measures, including attempts to implement a 60% supermajority threshold for voters to pass laws. The Fairness Project is actively monitoring these attacks and has organized over $5.6 million since 2021 to fight back as part of its Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign.
“Kelly Hall, executive director of the Fairness Project, which backs progressive state ballot measures across the country, described last year’s abortion rights victories as an ‘accelerant on an already burning fire.’ But Hall also pointed to recent triumphs on issues such as Medicaid expansion and minimum wage hikes as driving factors. She said the GOP’s antipathy toward ballot initiatives points to a broader problem for the party.
“‘All of these are not only policies that these red state legislatures don’t support, but they also reveal the widening gap between the policy platforms of these extremist legislatures and what their voters actually support,’ Hall told Stateline in an interview. ‘And that is an uncomfortable place to be as a governing party, and it also creates a reaction.’
“…. Initiatives and referendums enable the public to counter that influence, according to Hall, of the Fairness Project. More corporate money and lobbying in state legislatures ‘means that the issues that get pushed to the agenda forefront are either the things that are truly red meat for the partisan base or the interests of corporations,’ she said. ‘There’s not as much appetite for doing the hard work of figuring out the policies that work for working families.’”