This week at progressive state blogs: Respecting voter initiatives in control win in UT; gun control win in FL

This article originally appeared in the Daily Kos. Read it in its entirety here.

This week at progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf.

At Alliance for a Better Utah, Chase Thomas writes- Lawmakers Should Respect the Will of the People and Leave the Initiatives Alone:

In my opinion, the so-called “blue wave” did make its way to Utah. We saw change in a congressional district, several state house and senate districts, and other local offices. But most significantly, in my opinion, we saw hundreds of thousands of voters show up to vote in favor of the three propositions on the ballot, approving medical cannabis, Medicaid expansion, and redistricting reform. The election results clearly signal that Utahns support each of these policies.

However, even before election day, there were reports in the media indicating that Utah lawmakers were planning to ignore the outcome of the elections. The most obvious example is the so-called “compromise” medical cannabis legislation, which the Governor and legislative leaders said would be adopted by the Legislature regardless of whether Proposition 2 passed or failed on election day. Lawmakers also indicated they would be making changes to the funding of Medicaid expansion, even though Proposition 3 already includes a sales tax funding mechanism, and that they were interested in adding work requirements, even though backers of the proposition purposefully excluded such provisions. And Proposition 4 made lawmakers so upset that they have threatened to repeal the initiativecompletely ignore the commission it establishes, or even sue to have it invalidated.

Yesterday, we issued a statement calling on lawmakers to respect the will of the people and leave the initiatives alone.  […]

This statement builds off of an Op-Ed I wrote earlier this year that was published in The Salt Lake Tribune. In it, I explained the co-equal power that Utahns hold to pass legislation by initiative. As lawmakers threatened to preempt the initiatives during the Legislative Session, I argued that they should honor the concurrent power held by their constituents.

I believe the same principles apply now as lawmakers threaten to change, replace, or repeal the initiatives that have been duly passed by the residents of Utah. […] The people of Utah voted for the initiatives as they are written. They didn’t vote for a compromise bill, for added policies that lawmakers believe will “improve” the law, or for lawmakers to completely ignore what they voted for.

This article originally appeared in the Daily Kos. Read it in its entirety here

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