Senator Jim Bolin claims in his Pro statement on Amendment X, his unnecessary plan to raise the vote necessary to amend the state constitution to 55%, will “protect our state constitution from efforts for unneeded changes.” As Senator Reynold Nesiba and I make clear in the Con statement, Senator Bolin’s claim is false:
The legislators pushing X claim, “Our constitution needs protection against a wide range of efforts to change it.” This claim makes three false assumptions.
Falsehood #1: Legislators pushing X assume we voters propose too many amendments. In 129 years of statehood, 244 amendments have appeared on our ballots. Of these, 227, including X, have come from the state legislature. Only 17 have come from voter initiative. Legislators have proposed 93% of the amendments we’ve voted on. If legislators want to protect the constitution from change, they need simply stop proposing so many amendments instead of trying, again, with X, to change the constitution.
Falsehood #2: Legislators pushing X assume it’s too easy for us voters to amend our constitution. Yet from 1980 to 2016, the difficult, costly amendment petition process placed only 16 citizen amendments on the ballot, compared to 55 Legislative amendments. During the same period, voters passed 38% of citizen amendments and 49% of Legislative amendments. Those numbers show that citizens face greater hurdles in proposing and passing amendments. We don’t need X to make the process harder.
Falsehood #3: Legislators pushing X assume a 55% vote threshold would protect us from “bad” amendments. Of the six citizen amendments passed since 1980, X would have stopped only one. In 2016, X would have stopped the amendment that improved vo-tech governance, a good amendment proposed by the Legislature and backed by the vo-techs and business. At the same time, X would not have stopped Marsy’s Law, a flawed and costly California amendment that legislators threatened to repeal.
Legislators claim X will solve a problem. That problem doesn’t exist.
Even if the problem did exist, X wouldn’t solve it.
The real problem is X. Keep X and its false assumptions out of our constitution [Senator Reynold Nesiba and Cory Allen Heidelberger, Con Statement to Amendment X, 2018 Ballot Question Pamphlet, August 2018].
Just think how much fun Senator Nesiba and I would have tag-teaming to rebut Republican bushwah on the Senate floor. Vote NO on X, and send me to Pierre to help Senator Nesiba protect us from bad Legislative amendments!