Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lame Duck Legislature Protects Itself from Future Recall Efforts

HB6058, HB6060, HB6061, and HB6063 were all introduced on November 28th and passed in the House on Thursday with immediate effect. These bills have moved to the Senate and will likely be brought to the floor on Tuesday.

HB 6058 of 2012 would prevent the circulation of recall petitions for signatures for up to 40 days if there was an appeal to a circuit court for reason of sufficiency, and would invalidate a petition upon a decision of the circuit court that the language was insufficient.

Currently, the reason(s) for the recall must be stated “clearly”; HB 6060 of 2012 would require the reason(s) for the recall to also be stated “factually” and would require the sponsor(s) of the recall to provide supporting evidence of the facts. This bill would also reduce the valid signature collection period from 90 consecutive days to 60 consecutive days.

HB 6061 of 2012 would limit the recall elections to November and May elections.

Finally, HB 6063 (H-1) of 2012 would prevent a recall petition from being submitted in the first or last six months of an official’s term of office.

It has always been nearly impossible for a grassroots effort to successfully recall an elected official; these bills would make it so difficult that you could drop the word “nearly” and just say impossible. It has never been more important to work hard to get the right people elected to office.