Law professor explains some of CT's laws

In many states, voters get to weigh in and decide whether to have tolls or recreational marijuana.But here in ...

Posted: Dec. 15, 2017 7:25 PM
Updated: Dec. 15, 2017 7:26 PM

In many states, voters get to weigh in and decide whether to have tolls or recreational marijuana.

But here in Connecticut, that's not the case.

Here, it's lawmakers who are the ones who ultimately make that decision.

Connecticut isn't alone. In fact, there are many states that do not have referendums or a way for these issues to go on a ballot.

Some of this has to do with older states versus newer ones.

Connecticut has been debating tolls for a long time as well as recreational marijuana.

Both could generate lots of money for the state but are controversial.

A growing number of people seem to support them but unlike other states, voters are not given the opportunity to decide.

William Dunlap, a law professor at Quinnipiac University, points out most of the states that allow voters to decide are in the western part of the country.

"Western states are newer to the union and by the time they joined the union, the idea of democracy or democratic participation was stronger than when original 13 colonies became states," Dunlap said.

However, there are exceptions. When you look at map, it's pretty much 50/50.

The colored states are those that have either referendums or initiatives which allow people to vote, and the rest do not.

Here in the northeast, Maine and Massachusetts do let people vote, although it's a complicated process involving petitions, and even the legislature plays a role.

Massachusetts voters recently approved recreational marijuana.

If Connecticut wanted to join some of its neighbors, it would require changing the constitution, which is something that's not easy to do.

However, there is one issue that may get a chance, and that's a lock box on transportation, which basically mandates money raised for transportation is only used for transportation.

Voters may get to decide if they want to change the constitution to allow that.

"Many legislatures do not like the idea of referendums or initiatives because it takes power away from them," Dunlap said.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 52°
Albert Lea
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 54°
Austin
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 55°
Charles City
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 57°
Rochester
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 52°
One more nice day before storms.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

New jail in Cresco

Image

North Iowa Band Festival Parade

Image

Two democratic women hoping to be president stop in North Iowa

Image

Section baseball playoff highlights from Saturday

Image

Tracking an Awesome Sunday Forecast

Image

The 81st North Iowa Band Festival

Image

Band Festival beer drinking laws change

Image

Chris Nelson's weekend forecast: Storms may return late Sunday

Image

Local sports highlights from Friday

Image

The Horse God Built

Community Events