El Dorado Arkansas elections

Ballot Issues for 2020

ISSUE 1 - Making Permanent a 0.5% State Sales Tax That Currently Funds State, County and City Road Work

A "yes" vote supports amending the state constitution to continue and make permanent a 0.5 percent sales tax with revenue directed to state and local transportation, including highways, roads, and bridges. The sales tax was temporarily authorized by voters in 2012 and set to expire in 2023.

A "no" vote opposes this amendment, thereby allowing the 0.5 percent sales tax to expire once certain transportation bond debt is repaid in 2023.

Summary

This measure would amend the state constitution to continue and make permanent a 0.5 percent sales tax with revenue directed to state and local transportation, including highways, roads, and bridges. The sales tax was temporarily authorized by voters in 2012 and set to expire in 2023.

Voters authorized the temporary 0.5 percent sales tax that would be made permanent by this amendment in 2012 through approval of Issue 1 (2012), which is now Amendment 91 in the state constitution. Issue 1 of 2012 authorized the 0.5 percent sales tax to be levied until the general obligation bonds in the amount of $1.3 billion for the construction of a four-lane highway were repaid (estimated to be in 2023).

The sales tax would not be applied to food or food ingredients.

The Department of Finance and Administration estimated that the 0.5 percent sales tax authorized by the amendment would generate $293.7 million per year in revenue. It would be allocated in the following way:

  • 70 percent ($205.59 million) to state highways,
  • 15 percent ($44.055 million) to county transportation, and
  • 15 percent to ($44.055 million) to city transportation.

Republican Representative Jeff Wardlaw of Arkansas' 8th House District sponsored this measure in the House. Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) supports the measure.


ISSUE 2 - Arkansas Change State Legislative Term Limits Amendment (2020)

The Arkansas State Legislative Term Limits Amendment is on the ballot in Arkansas as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on November 3, 2020.

A yes vote supports this measure to change term limits of state legislators to twelve consecutive years with the opportunity to return after a four-year break.

A no vote opposes this measure, thereby keeping the state's current 16-year lifetime term limit for state legislators.

Summary

This measure would change term limits of state legislators to twelve consecutive years with the opportunity to return after a four-year break. The 12-year limit would apply to anyone elected in 2021 or after. As of 2019, Arkansas legislators can serve up to 16 years throughout their lifetimes in the House or Senate. Those first elected to the legislature before 2021 would keep the state's current lifetime term limit of 16 years.


ISSUE 3 - Arkansas Initiative Process and Legislative Referral Requirements Amendment (2020)

The Arkansas Initiative Process and Legislative Referral Requirements Amendment is on the ballot in Arkansas as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on November 3, 2020.

A yes vote supports amending the state constitution to increase signature distribution requirements for initiative petitions, require a 60% vote in the legislature to refer future constitutional amendments, and make other changes to requirements for citizen initiatives and legislative referrals.

A no vote opposes amending the state constitution to change citizen initiative and legislative referral processes and requirements.

Summary

This amendment would do the following:

  • require that a petition must contain valid signatures equaling at least half of the required percentage of signatures from each of 45 counties instead of the current requirement of 15 counties;
  • require a three-fifths vote of both chambers of the legislature to refer a proposed constitutional amendment to voters;
  • eliminate the option for petitioners to collect extra signatures for 30 days if the petition fails to meet the signature requirement but the petition has at least 75% of the valid signatures needed;
  • require challenges to the sufficiency of any ballot measure to be filed no later than April 15 of the election year; and
  • require signatures for citizen initiative petitions to be submitted to the secretary of state by January 15 of the election year rather than the current deadline of four months before the election.

Additional information can be found here.




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