Petition to bar public employees from legislative office falls short
September 1, 2004
The petition seeking to bar all public employees, including teachers, from serving in the Legislature won’t be on the November ballot.
The Secretary of State’s Office announced Wednesday the petition failed to get enough signatures to qualify. Organizers ended up with 44,548 valid signatures – 6,789 short of the 51,337 needed to qualify.
That isn’t the only issue which failed to make the ballot because it couldn’t raise enough signatures. The ballot question to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana fell 1,925 signatures short, and the Axe the Tax referendum, designed to repeal the tax increases ordered by the 2003 Legislature, fell nearly 4,500 signers short.
The public employees ban was proposed by anti-tax groups after lawmakers voted by a two-thirds margin to increase taxes in 2003. Those groups put the blame on government employees and teachers in the Legislature who they said were voting for their own interests by increasing taxes.
The rulings were made after Secretary of State Dean Heller ordered full counts and verification of all signatures attached to those petitions. In all three cases, a full count actually reduced the total number of valid signatures.
Reach Geoff Dornan at 687-8750.