State initiative deadline nears
CARSON CITY (AP) – As a June 20 deadline looms, backers of several initiatives are scrambling to gather enough signatures to send the proposals before Nevada voters in November.
Of six initiative petitions that begin circulating last fall, four are still alive. Organizers need 83,184 valid signatures to qualify each proposed constitutional amendment for the Nov. 7 ballot.
Backers of the People’s Initiative to Stop the Taking of Our Land – which seeks to reform the eminent domain process – are the only ones reporting sufficient signatures so far.
Using a paid firm, they have gathered 130,000 signatures and are preparing to submit them to county clerks for verification.
Paid workers continue to gather signatures for the most high-profile initiative – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beers’ Tax and Spending Control for Nevada (TASC).
Organizers would not disclose how many signatures they have for the proposal, which limits annual increases in state spending to the growth of population plus inflation.
Last week, TASC supporters sought a restraining order against a union-led coalition they accused of using intimidation to keep voters from signing their petition.
But the TASC group and Nevadans for Nevada reached an agreement governing conduct at petition locations.
Paid workers also continue to collect signatures for Republican congressional candidate Sharron Angle’s Property Tax Restraint Initiative.
Organizers would not provide an estimate of how many signatures they have for the proposal styled after California’s Proposition 13.
Relying on volunteers to collect signatures is a group of physical education teachers seeking to require daily P.E. classes for all students from kindergarten to 12th grade.
R.R. Apache, president of the Nevada Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, said he doesn’t know whether the group will get enough signatures.
“We’re not like the (TASC) group,” Apache told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “They’ve got so much money they’ve hired people to do it for them.”
Backers of the Truth in Science and Prohibition of Unfunded Mandates initiatives have dropped efforts to qualify them for the ballot.
Las Vegas masonry contractor Steve Brown said he did not think his Truth in Science proposal would be passed by voters if it were on the ballot.
The measure, which would have required teachers to instruct students that there are questions about evolution, was viewed by opponents as an opening to teach intelligent design.
The Nevada Association of Counties withdrew its Prohibition of Unfunded Mandates proposal.
The measure would have prohibited state government from requiring local government to provide new services without providing additional funding.