Referendum Challenge to 2006 Benefits Reduction Act
Note: The referendum challenge did not receive enough valid signatures to make the ballot.
A referendum challenge to the recent workers’ compensation amendments (Am. Sub. S.B. 7) is being made. The amendments are expected to go into effect on June 30, 2006. If sufficient signatures are filed to get the referendum challenge on the ballot, then the amendments challenged by the referendum will not go into effect on that date. Instead, the law will be submitted to a vote and will not become effective unless the referendum passes.
The most recent workers’ compensation referendum occurred in 1997, when the voters of the state rejected the proposed workers’ compensation amendments. Read about the 1997 referendum challenge.
In order to get the referendum on the ballot, the petitioners had to first have ballot language certified by filing signatures of 1000 registered voters, along with the full text of the law being challenged and a summary of the law being challenged. The Secretary of State must certify the signatures and language and then the Attorney General must certify the language.
After that, the petitioners must collect signatures from registered voters. To get the referendum on the ballot, the petitioners must meet both a state-wide signature requirement and a per-county signature requirement. The state-wide signature requirement is six percent of the electorate that voted for the office of governor in the last election. [According to the Secretary of State’s web site, 3,228,992 votes were cast for Governor in 2002, and the six per-cent requirement means that 193,740 valid signatures would need to be filed.] The per-county signature requirement is three percent from 44 counties.
The referendum petition contains a summary which outlines what is being challenged by the referendum petition. [NOTE: This is NOT the referendum petition, but a copy of the language used in the petition.]
Read about the changes made by Am. Sub. S.B. 7.