Capital Crapshoot


With much of the legislative session's work drawing to a close, several of Crapshoot's least-favorite bills are scrambling along like newly hatched sea turtles, trying to reach the safety of the ocean without getting devoured by a flock of seagulls. Or something like that.

So we're bringing you this special edition to get you up to date with the death throes of the legislative session.

· Senate Concurrent Resolution 1016, the so-called Budget Stabilization Act, would prevent state spending from growing faster than population growth and the rate of inflation. This proposal, which would have to be approved by voters, was killed in both the House and Senate earlier this year, but is lurking as a striker in the House. A movement is afoot to run a ballot initiative if lawmakers don't pass the resolution.

· Senate Concurrent Resolution 1011, which would require that initiatives raising taxes pass by a two-thirds vote at the ballot box, is also lurking as a striker in the House. If this were to pass, you could forget about ever increasing, say, tobacco taxes, as voters did last November.

· House Concurrent Resolution 2022 forces any ballot initiative that creates a new spending program to include a revenue source, preventing voters from directing general fund dollars. It faces a vote in the full Senate.

· House Bill 2436 lets cities and towns with populations less than 100,000 increase the number of signatures required for a referendum or recall to 10 percent of the total number of registered voters, rather than 10 percent of the number of people who voted in the last election. It has passed the House but was retained last Tuesday, April 22, before it went to vote in the Senate.

· Senate Bill 1138 has become the billboard bill that wouldn't die. This legislation, which would allow big honkin' electronic billboards with flashing message, has been killed several times in the committee process, but it continues to rise from the dead. SB1138 has stalled on the House floor.

OK, gang, now it's your turn. Go to your phones and make the calls. Remember, your lawmakers want to hear from you--don't they?