National groups push record number of state ballot measures

How local are local ballot initiatives? Not very, according to a new investigation by the Center for Public Integrity, a national, non-profit news organization.

Ohioans last year were inundated with ads –costing tens of millions of dollars – in support of or opposed to a controversial ballot measure to legalize marijuana. Much of the support for the measure came from groups or individuals outside of the state.

Turns out, state ballot measures across the country often are not either proposed by or promoted financially by “grassroots” citizens wanting to improve their local communities, according to CPI’s findings. Even if local residents strongly believe in a cause, they need the support of bigger pocket groups to get a statewide ballot measure passed. Passing ballot initiatives, the story says, can be a “multi-million dollar endeavor.”

Some national groups now are pushing for minimum wage increases to appear on state ballots – including, possibly, Ohio’s ballot – in November 2016.   The deadline for collecting signatures and filing to appear on the ballot in Ohio isn’t until August.

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