January 4, 2017

Pelath Wants Citizen-Led Referenda

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
House Minority Leader Scott Pelath wants Hoosier voters to have a larger role in shaping policy. - Brandon Smith/IPB

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath wants Hoosier voters to have a larger role in shaping policy.

Brandon Smith/IPB

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath wants Hoosier voters to have a larger role in shaping policy. He proposes allowing citizen-led referenda.

About half the states in the country allow citizen-initiated referenda – where voters can put binding public questions on their ballot if they, for instance, gather enough signatures. Indiana is not one of those states. But Pelath wants it to be.

“We must give a new breath of life to citizen participation in government…the future of our institutions and our self-limiting barriers to difficult reforms demand that citizens be empowered to initiate and enact changes to our laws,” Pelath says.

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says he’s never been in favor of widespread use of referenda.

“The referendum process, I think, puts the decision into the hands of special interests who can afford campaigns, as they do in California – they have massive campaigns there,” Bosma says.

Pelath’s proposal would require changing the Indiana Constitution.

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