Bill to introduce Citizens’ Initiative Review in Massachusetts

Numerous co-sponsors have lined up behind a 2017 bill authored by Representative Jon Hecht and Bradford Hill to introduce Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) in Massachusetts. This follows on the heels of a pilot CIR in Mass., which our research team evaluated in the winter of 2016 (see “Assessment of the 2016 Massachusetts Citizens’ Initiative Review Pilot on Question 4“). Project co-leader John Gastil discussed the 2016 Mass....

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CIR proposed for the United Kingdom

Professor Graham Smith, at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, recently presented testimony to the British House of Commons’ Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee. After the Brexit vote, they conducted an inquiry, “Lessons Learned from the EU Referendum.” Smith testified, The government should legally enshrine the requirement for a Citizens’ Referendum Review as part of any...

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New CIR proposal appears in Massachusetts, while Washington CIR bill stalls in committee;

Massachusetts state rep. Jonathan Hecht has introduced a measure in his state to establish the CIR. One new wrinkle in this proposal is that a seven-person commission oversees the process, with special backgrounds required for some of the members: The governor shall appoint a dean or professor of law or political science or government at an institution of higher education. The attorney general shall appoint a retired justice. The secretary of...

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Wash. State House summary of arguments for CIR

Washington HB 1364 to establish a CIR in Washington just got through the appropriations process. There’s no net state cost for running a pilot in 2016 (because of private, non-profit funding being available), and that was noted. Also, a summary document has been prepared to lay out the arguments heard for and against creating a CIR in Washington State. (Nobody testified against it, so that part’s blank.) What’s encouraging is...

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Washington State considers new CIR legislation

The State of Washington’s legislature is considering adopting the CIR on a trial basis for the 2016 election cycle. The bill has been heard in the House and will be heard in the Senate next week. To follow the bill, click here. To see the original version of the bill, click here. To see testimony on the bill from January, 2015, click here, with relevant testimony starting at...

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