SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Common Ground Arkansas announced on Thursday that it will oppose the referred constitutional amendment that would raise the threshold to 60% for voter-led changes to Arkansas laws. The amendment was referred by the Arkansas legislature and will appear on the November 2022 general election ballot.
“This amendment is a power grab. It’s an attempt to take power away from the voters of Arkansas,” said Sen. Jim Hendren, chairman of the Common Ground Arkansas board and an Independent state senator from Sulphur Springs. “It would set an unfair bar where legislators only need 50% of their votes to pass laws, but the people of Arkansas would need 60% to do the same thing. It runs contrary to Arkansas’ motto: The people rule.”
The Common Ground Arkansas board voted unanimously to oppose the measure, which would also apply to Constitutional amendments. Voter initiatives currently only require 50% of the vote to pass in Arkansas.
“The current standard of allowing voters to make or change laws with 50% of the vote provides a citizen-led check on the state legislature and allows for meaningful reforms when legislators lack the political will to do the people’s business,” said Misty Orpin, executive director of Common Ground Arkansas. “We trust the people of Arkansas and believe they should be on an equal playing field with state legislators.”
Common Ground Arkansas is a nonprofit founded in February 2021 to work toward more accountability and less polarization in Arkansas politics. Find more information at commongroundar.org.