Wyoming, USA, regional Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Initiative Petition

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
Wyoming, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Initiative Petition
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

ARTICLE 3 LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM
Sec. 52. Initiative and referendum.
(a) The people may propose and enact laws by the initiative, (..).
(b) An initiative or referendum is proposed by an application containing the bill to be initiated or the act to be referred. The application shall be signed by not less than one hundred (100) qualified voters as sponsors, and shall be filed with the secretary of state. If he finds it in proper form he shall so certify. Denial of certification shall be subject to judicial review.
(c) After certification of the application, a petition containing a summary of the subject matter shall be prepared by the secretary of state for circulation by the sponsors. The petition may be filed with the secretary of state if it meets both of the following requirements:
(i) It is signed by qualified voters, equal in number to fifteen percent (15%) of those who voted in the preceding general election; and
(ii) It is signed by qualified voters equal in number to fifteen percent (15%) of those resident in at least two-thirds (2/3) of the counties of the state, as determined by those who voted in the preceding general election in that county.
(d) An initiative petition may be filed at any time except that one may not be filed for a measure substantially the same as that defeated by an initiative election within the preceding five (5) years. The secretary of state shall prepare a ballot title and proposition summarizing the proposed law, and shall place them on the ballot for the first statewide election held more than one hundred twenty (120) days after adjournment of the legislative session following the filing. If, before the election, substantially the same measure has been enacted, the petition is void.
(..)
(f) If votes in an amount in excess of fifty percent (50%) of those voting in the general election are cast in favor of adoption of an initiated measure, the measure is enacted. If votes in an amount in excess of fifty percent (50%) of those voted in the general election are cast in favor of rejection of an act referred, it is rejected. The secretary of state shall certify the election returns. An initiated law becomes effective ninety (90) days after certification, is not subject to veto, and may not be repealed by the legislature within two (2) years of its effective date. It may be amended at any time. An act rejected by referendum is void thirty (30) days after certification. Additional procedures for the initiative and referendum may be prescribed by law.
(g) The initiative shall not be used to dedicate revenues, make or repeal appropriations, create courts, define the jurisdiction of courts or prescribe their rules, enact local or special legislation, or enact that prohibited by the constitution for enactment by the legislature. The referendum shall not be applied to dedications of revenue, to appropriations, to local or special legislation, or to laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety.

References: Constitution of Wyoming, 1889 (accessed Sept. 26, 2017)

22‑24‑302. Application; filing and fee.

An initiative shall be proposed by filing an application with the secretary of state. A fee of five hundred dollars ($500.00) shall accompany the application. This fee shall be deposited in the general fund.

22‑24‑315.  Petitions; filing by sponsors.

(a) Petitions may be filed with the secretary of state if signed by a sufficient number of qualified registered voters as required by the Wyoming constitution.

(b) Petitions for an initiative shall be submitted to the secretary of state for verification within the eighteen (18) month period following the date the first set of petition forms are provided to the sponsors. Any petition not submitted within the eighteen (18) month period is void for all purposes.

References: Wyoming Statutes, TITLE 22 ELECTIONS, CHAPTER 1 WYOMING ELECTION CODE (accessed Sept. 26, 2017)

Subject Matter:

To propose and enact laws

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
15% of qualified voters who voted in the preceding general election + geogr. quorum (see below)
Available Time:
18 months
Turnout Quorum:
No turnout quorum found in legal source
Approval Quorum:
50%+ of those voting
Geographical Quorum:
Signatures: It is signed by qualified voters equal in number to fifteen percent (15%) of those resident in at least two-thirds (2/3) of the counties of the state, as determined by those who voted in the preceding general election in that county
Excluded Issues:

(g) The initiative shall not be used to dedicate revenues, make or repeal appropriations, create courts, define the jurisdiction of courts or prescribe their rules, enact local or special legislation, or enact that prohibited by the constitution for enactment by the legislature. The referendum shall not be applied to dedications of revenue, to appropriations, to local or special legislation, or to laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety.

Other Formal Requirements:

22‑24‑303. Application; contents.

(a) The application shall be on a form prescribed by the secretary of state and shall include:

(i) The proposed bill to be initiated;

(ii)  The designation of a committee of three (3) applicants who shall represent all sponsors and subscribers in matters relating to the initiative; and

(iii)  A statement that the committee of applicants are qualified registered voters who signed the application with the proposed bill attached.

22‑24‑304.  Requirements as to proposed bill.

(a) In an initiative, the proposed bill shall be confined to one (1) subject, the entire subject of the bill shall be expressed in the title, the enacting clause shall be: "Be it enacted by the people of the state of Wyoming:" and the bill shall not include subjects restricted by W.S. 22‑24‑301.

(b) In an initiative, concurrently with the filing of the application, the proposed bill shall be submitted by the committee of applicants to the secretary of state for review and comment. The proposed bill shall be in the format required for bills by W.S. 8‑1‑105. If the secretary of state determines that the proposed bill is not in the format required, he shall provide the committee of applicants a copy of W.S. 8‑1‑105 and an example bill meeting the format, and shall request the committee revise and resubmit the proposed bill. Upon request of the secretary of state, the legislative service office or any agency in the executive department shall render assistance in reviewing and preparing comments on the proposed bill. No later than fourteen (14) calendar days after the date of submission, at a conference scheduled by the secretary of state, the secretary shall render to the committee of applicants comments on any problems encountered concerning the format or contents of the proposed bill. If the legislature is in session at the time the conference would otherwise be required to be held, then the conference shall be held within ten (10) days after the adjournment of the session. The comments shall not be disclosed prior to the conference with the committee of applicants but, at such time as the application is certified, the comments shall become a public record. After the conference but before certification the committee of applicants may amend the proposed bill in response to some or all of the comments of the secretary of state and resubmit the proposed bill in accordance with this subsection, or they may disregard the comments entirely. The committee of applicants shall notify the secretary of state in writing within five (5) calendar days after the conference whether the proposed bill will be amended. If the proposed bill is to be amended it shall be resubmitted for review and comment in accordance with this subsection. At any time the committee of applicants chooses not to amend or further amend a proposed bill, the committee of applicants may submit the proposed bill to the secretary of state for certification.

(c) No later than thirty (30) days after a proposed bill is submitted for certification, the committee of applicants shall submit to the secretary of state the names, signatures, addresses and the date of signing of one hundred (100) qualified registered voters who will act as sponsors supporting the application and proposed bill in their final form. The committee of applicants may act as sponsors if duly qualified. The thirty (30) day requirement of this subsection shall be extended by the number of days any conference under subsection (b) of this section is delayed as a result of abatement of the conference during a legislative session.

(d) The legislative service office shall provide the secretary of state's office with a template of the format required for bills by W.S. 8‑1‑105. The secretary of state shall make the template available to the public in an electronic format on the official secretary of state website.

References: TITLE 22 - ELECTIONS ; CHAPTER 24 - INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM (accessed Sept. 26, 2017)

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

22‑24‑312. Petitions; circulation; contests.

(a) The petitions shall be circulated throughout the state only by a sponsor or an individual designated in accordance with W.S. 22‑24‑306 as a circulator and only in person.

(b) Any person may contest the qualifications of an individual designated as a circulator by filing a petition in the district court within ten (10) days of the solicitation activity. The court shall hear and decide any such action within five (5) days from the date the petition is filed.

(c) Any party prevailing in any action filed pursuant to subsection (b) of this section may be awarded costs and reasonable attorney's fees by the court. The court shall notify the secretary of state of its findings as to the qualifications of a circulator within five (5) days of the determination.

Wording Of Ballot Question:

22‑24‑317.  Ballot proposition; preparation and contents.

(a) If a sufficient number of qualified petitions are filed, the secretary of state, with the assistance of the attorney general, shall prepare a ballot proposition. The ballot proposition shall give a true and impartial summary of the proposed law, including the estimated fiscal impact or range of estimated fiscal impact on the state and explanation of the impact prepared in accordance with W.S. 22‑24‑309, and shall make provision for approval and for disapproval thereof.

(b) When any proposal relating to the investment of the permanent funds of the state of Wyoming is placed on the ballot, the secretary of state shall include in the ballot statement an estimate from the state treasurer of the estimated loss or gain in revenue from the proposal. If the final estimated loss or gain by the state treasurer and the final estimated loss or gain by the committee of sponsors of the ballot proposition differ by more than twenty‑five thousand dollars ($25,000.00), the ballot statement shall contain the range of estimated loss or gain reflecting both estimates.

22‑24‑318. Ballot proposition; procedure for placing on ballot; publication requirements.

(a) Except as required under subsection (b) of this section, the same procedure for placing constitutional amendment questions on the ballot shall be used to place the initiative ballot proposition on the ballot.

(b) The ballot proposition for an initiative shall be published by the secretary of state in a newspaper of general circulation in the state in the newspaper edition immediately preceding the general election. Publication under this subsection shall contain the text of the initiative ballot and shall identify both a physical location and a web site address or other electronic location where the entire text of the initiative can be viewed.

Interaction With Authorities:

2‑24‑306. Sponsors and circulators.

(a) The one hundred (100) qualified registered voters who subscribe to the application are designated as sponsors. The committee of applicants may designate additional qualified individuals to act as circulators of the petitions by giving written notice to the secretary of state signed by one (1) member of the committee of applicants verifying under oath the names, qualifications and addresses of those so designated. An individual shall not be qualified to act as a circulator unless he is a citizen of the United States and is at least eighteen (18) years of age. A member of the committee of applicants may act as a circulator if duly qualified.

(b) The committee of applicants shall file contribution and expenditure reports as required by W.S. 22‑25‑106.

22‑24‑308. Grounds for denying certification of initiative application.

(a) The secretary of state shall deny final certification of an initiative application if he determines that:

(i) The proposed bill to be initiated is not in the required form, including the requirements of W.S. 8‑1‑105;

(ii) The application is not in the required form;

(iii) The committee of applicants failed to submit a sufficient number of qualified registered voters as sponsors within thirty (30) days after submitting its final proposed bill and application for certification; or

(iv) The proposed bill was not submitted for review and comment in accordance with W.S. 22‑24‑304.

22‑24‑309.Fiscal impact.

(a) Upon the certification or conditional certification of any initiative application, if in the opinion of the secretary of state the proposed bill will have a fiscal impact on the state, the secretary of state shall prepare an estimate and explanation of the fiscal impact. The explanation shall include a statement that it is an estimate of fiscal impact to the state only and does not include an estimate of any impact upon political subdivisions. Upon request of the secretary of state, any agency in the executive department shall render assistance in preparing the estimate and explanation of fiscal impact.

(b) No later than fourteen (14) days after final certification of an initiative application, the secretary of state shall render to the committee of applicants its fiscal impact estimate and explanation. If the committee believes that the secretary of state's estimate is inaccurate, within fourteen (14) days after receiving the secretary of state's estimate and explanation, the committee of applicants may submit to the secretary of state its own estimate and explanation of fiscal impact. Upon receiving the committee of applicants' estimate and explanation, the secretary of state may revise its estimate if in the opinion of the secretary of state the committee demonstrates that the secretary of state's estimate is inaccurate. If the final estimated fiscal impact by the secretary of state and the final estimated fiscal impact by the committee of applicants differ by more than twenty‑five thousand dollars ($25,000.00), the secretary of state's comments under the ballot proposition shall contain an estimated range of fiscal impact reflecting both estimates.

22‑24‑310.  Petitions; generally.

(a) Upon final certification of an initiative application and the finalization of any fiscal estimate pursuant to W.S. 22‑24‑309, the secretary of state shall prescribe the form of and prepare petitions containing:

(i) A copy of the proposed bill;

(ii) An impartial summary of the subject matter of the bill;

(iii) The warning required by W.S. 22‑24‑311;

(iv) Sufficient space for printed names, signatures and addresses;

(v) If a circulator will be paid to solicit signatures on a petition, each signature page circulated by that circulator shall contain, in twelve (12) point or larger black boldface type, the following statement: "This circulator is being paid to solicit signatures for this ballot proposition." The statement shall be prominently displayed and made visible to the petition signer by the circulator; and

(vi) Other specifications necessary to assure proper handling and control.

(b) Pursuant to rules adopted by the secretary of state, petitions, for purposes of circulation, shall be prepared by the secretary of state at the sponsor's expense. Petitions shall be printed in a number reasonably calculated to allow full circulation throughout the state. A paid circulator shall solicit signatures on a petition only if each signature page circulated by that circulator contains the statement required under paragraph (a)(v) of this section.

(c) The secretary of state shall number each petition and shall keep a record of the petitions.

(d) Upon request of the committee of applicants, the secretary of state shall report the number of persons who voted in the preceding general election.

(e) The secretary of state, on any printed material circulated by the secretary of state describing the proposition, shall include notice whether any paid circulator was used to gather signatures as required by paragraph (a)(v) of this section.

Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance:

ARTICLE 2 - PAID ADVERTISING IN ANY COMMUNICATION MEDIUM OR PRINTED LITERATURE TO SUPPORT, OPPOSE OR INFLUENCE LEGISLATION 

22-24-201. Paid advertising; penalty.
(a) Any group of persons who are associated for the purpose of raising, collecting or spending money for paid advertising in any communication media or for printed literature to support, oppose or otherwise influence legislation by the legislature of the state of Wyoming, which is or was the subject of a statewide initiative or referendum within the past four (4) years, shall:
(i) File a statement of formation listing the names and addresses of its chairman and treasurer with the secretary of state within ten (10) days after formation and prior to the publication, dissemination or broadcast of any paid advertising from the group;
(ii) File with the secretary of state a statement of receipts and expenditures setting forth the full and complete record of receipts including cash, goods or services and actual and promised expenditures, on a form prescribed by the secretary of state, on the last Friday in December of each calendar year. In addition to the annual report, while the legislature is in session, there shall be filed an interim monthly statement for each month or portion thereof that the legislature is in session, within ten (10) days of the first day of the month for the previous month;
(iii) If the total receipts and expenditures reported under paragraph (a)(ii) of this section lists any contribution in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) from any source or sources other than an individual, the report shall include a full and complete disclosure of the funding source or sources of any nonindividual contributor which funded the advertising.
(b) Any group formed under this section shall file a termination report within thirty (30) days after it ceases the regulated activity but cessation of activity shall not relieve the group of the reporting requirement for that filing period.
(c) No group subject to this section shall pay for advertising in any communication media or printed literature without full disclosure of the name of the group.
(d) Nothing in this section shall require an individual or individuals who pay for advertising or literature to support, oppose or otherwise influence legislation to file under this section, provided the name of the individual or individuals is fully disclosed in the advertising or literature.
(e) As used in this section:
(i) "Communication media" means advertising on television, radio, in print media, on billboards and other electronic media;
(ii) "Printed literature" means any printed material but shall not include any member association printed communication not intended for public dissemination, bumper stickers, pens, pencils, buttons, rulers, nail files, balloons and yard signs.
(f) Any person who willfully and knowingly violates any of the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as provided by W.S. 22-26-112.

22‑24‑323. Petitions; payment for signatures; misrepresentation of petition; prohibition; penalty.

(a) A circulator of an initiative petition or a person who causes the circulation of an initiative petition may not pay or offer to pay any compensation to another person for that person's signature on the initiative petition.

(b) A circulator of an initiative petition or a person who causes the circulation of an initiative petition shall not collect another person's signature on the petition by knowingly making a false statement with respect to or otherwise misrepresenting the proposed law contained within the initiative petition. A violation of this subsection is subject to the penalty imposed under W.S. 22‑24‑322(a).

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: