Oklahoma Bill to Ease Initiative Rules Makes Headway

On April 6, the Oklahoma House passed SB 852, which it makes it easier to get initiatives on the ballot. The bill had already passed the Senate, although the version of the bill in the House differs from the Senate version, so more legislative action is needed. The bill expands the period of time in which to circulate the initiative petition from 3 months to one year. It eliminates the rule that petitions must be on 14 inch long paper, which makes it easier to distribute blank petition forms via computer (most printers attached to home computers have trouble if the form must be on paper that is different from the standard 11 inches). The bill also provides that if someone challenges the “gist statement” (the short explanation of what the initiative does), that challenge must be fought out before the initiative gets its signatures, not afterwards.

Another bill, SJR13, which reduces the number of signatures for initiatives, has only passed the Senate so far, not the House.

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