Currently, proposed laws approved by state voters take effect five days after the Governor certifies the success of the ballot initiative by proclamation. H.B. 471 would delay implementation of an approved ballot initiative for up to a year depending on the initiative’s effect on taxes:
– For initiatives without any effect on taxes: implemented 60 days after the end of of the General Session following the initiative’s approval
– For initiatives with a tax increase: implemented on January 1st after the end of the General Session following the initiative’s approval
– For initiatives with a tax decrease: implemented 5 days following the Governor’s proclamation certifying the initiative’s approval
– For initiatives with a special effect date: implemented on the date contained within the ballot initiative
With the immense popularity of some of the proposed ballot initiatives, it’s no surprise that some legislators are attempting to preemptively change the initiative outcomes in the final hours of the legislative session. The time-delay difference between initiatives increasing or decreasing taxes shows this bill is motivated by a desire to protect legislators’ policy preferences. It makes sense that tax changes should go into effect with corresponding tax years; however, that does not explain why an initiative would need to be delayed for thirteen months, rather than simply clarifying that initiatives with tax changes of any kind should be implemented on the January 1st following the initiative’s approval.
Update March 1, 2018:
Before giving H.B. 471 a favorable recommendation, the House Government Operations Committee amended the bill remove the provisions related to tax increases and tax decreases. As amended, all initiatives would go into effect 60 days following the next legislative session unless it contains a special effective date sometime after that 60 day period.