Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Committee Green Lights Initiative Petition Bill

Rep. Pat Ownbey
Legislation that would require initiative petitions that mandate new spending to identify a funding source passed out of a House committee today.

“After last year’s fiasco of a state question, lawmakers are keen to protect the citizens from petitions that could bankrupt government services,” said Rep. Pat Ownbey, an Ardmore Republican who authored the bill.

“State Question 744 mandated new education spending but failed to say where that money could come from. It took a large-scale effort on the part of numerous state organizations to let people know exactly what the effects of that state question would be because no funding source was identified.”

House Bill 1225 would require those submitting a petition to include a statement “outlining all sources of funding to be used in the measure.”

“Everyone supports education,” Ownbey said. “At face value, that was all the state question was asking. In reality though, it was setting up the potential to bankrupt other state services. I think it was written in a way that was highly inappropriate. That is why I am pushing for this legislation.”

House Bill 1225 was passed by the House Rules Committee and now awaits consideration by the full House.

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