More Constitutional Amendments Proposed for 2018
To place an initiated measure on the ballot, it is necessary for a sponsoring group to follow certain procedures. An initiated measure is an initiative petition that may propose an Act or an Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution. For an initiated Act, a petition must contain the signatures of qualified electors in the amount of 8% of the total number of votes cast for the office of governor in the last preceding general election, which, for 2018, is equal to 67,887 signatures.
For a constitutional amendment, it is necessary for a petition to contain signatures of qualified electors in the amount of 10% of the total number of votes cast for the office of governor in the last preceding general election, which, for 2018, is equal to 84,859 signatures.
In addition to the minimum number of signatures, the petition must contain signatures from at least 15 counties in the state.
Last week, the Secretary of State certified the petition submitted for the ballot measure known as The Term Limits Amendment. It received a sufficient number of signatures and will be placed on the November ballot as Issue 3. Issue 3 would cap legislative service at a maximum of 10 years. This would restrict legislators to three two-years terms in the House of Representatives and two four-year terms in the Arkansas Senate.
Two ballot measures are in the process of gathering additional signatures to be placed on the November ballot. The first is a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow four additional casinos in Arkansas. The second is a proposed constitutional amendment to raise the state’s minimum wage to $11 per hour.
The Arkansas Legislature may also propose amendments to the Constitution. The State Legislature is allowed to refer up to three constitutional amendments in each general election. During the 2017 Regular Legislative Session, the Legislature referred two constitutional amendments. Issue 1 would set caps on attorneys’ fees and certain “non-economic” lawsuit damages. Issue 2 would require voters to show identification before casting a ballot.
We’ll continue to provide updates on the election as it gets closer to November.