Conservative Republican State Senator Dennis Pyle, will introduce legislation creating an Initiative process for both constitutional and statutory legislation, as well as a referendum process enabling the citizenry to reject certain legislative actions. If adopted the process will allow citizens to petition for ballot access by collecting the required number of signatures from qualified electors and submitting such to the Secretary of State in a timely fashion to be placed upon the ballot in odd numbered general election years.
Commenting on his legislation Pyle said, “The Kansas constitution states that ‘all political power is inherent in the people’, and it is time to put the peoples political power into practice in greater fashion, by giving citizens the Initiative process to amend the state constitution. Many have stated that an amendment to the Kansas constitution is necessary to resolve the current litigation surrounding school funding and that the people should have a say. This is one option toward achieving that goal. Putting such a procedure in place would also allow constitutional amendments on many subjects such as term limits, judicial selection, or the number of legislative votes necessary for calling an article V convention.”
On the proposals allowance for adopting changes to statutory law via initiative, Pyle also stated, “Putting an initiative process in place for statutory changes would enable the people another avenue for getting issues, which are before the legislature and not getting heard or passed, to be addressed without legislative approval. Issues such as the death penalty or electing a state auditor for example. It would also create a means to allow gubernatorial vetoed issues not overridden to be voted on by the people.”
Pyle’s legislation makes referendum possible. He says that referendum is necessary due to the fact government is growing and taxes have been raised by the legislature in 2010, 2013, 2015, and retroactively in 2017. Senator Pyle concluded, “We need a check on the legislature. The spending is out of control and it is very likely the legislature will be raising taxes again very soon. Even now, there is a proposal to raise property taxes, HB 2740. If the legislature were to adopt a property tax increase or Obamacare 2 (the Medicaid expansion), referendum would allow the people to reject adoption.”
Senator Pyle represents the 1st District, which includes all of Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Nemaha, and parts of Marshall and Pottawatomie counties. Pyle is a farmer. He and his wife reside north of Hiawatha.