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A process of a participatory democracy that empowers the people to propose legislation and to enact or reject the laws at the polls independent of the lawmaking power of the governing body.

The purpose of an initiative, which is a type of election commenced and carried out by the people, is to permit the electorate to resolve questions where their elected representatives fail to do so or refuse to proceed with a change that the public desires.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

INITIATIVE, French law. The name given to the important prerogative given by the charte constitutionelle, art. 16, to the late king to propose through his ministers projects of laws. 1 Toull. n. 39. See Veto.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
(50) This Note is concerned with the second category--limitations on the substantive policy areas that may compose the subject of a ballot initiative. It will not address restrictions that immunize the structure and procedures of government from the ballot initiative process.
Initially, two water and waste ballot initiatives were put forward for consideration, but the coalition of supporters for the change in mining regulations asked in May that the more specific and restrictive proposal--previously struck down by a Superior Court judge--be withdrawn from the ballot.
Constitutional law, seemingly dormant in the recent past, has reemerged as ballot initiatives and referendums begin to drive national policy change.
-- Nineteen states will raise their minimum wage on New Year's Day, delivering relief to low-income workers and validating liberal efforts to bypass Congress and state legislatures and push for pro-working-class policies through ballot initiatives.
Redistricting reform was a major part of the ballot initiative wave.
Ducey has repeatedly refused to comment on ballot initiatives before they make it on the ballot, but he indicated that his thoughts on Invest in Ed were already clear.
For each piece of minimum wage legislation or ballot initiative, we calculate the number of days between the date the legislation was passed and the date the first and last increase associated with the legislation came into effect.
The ballot initiative process typically requires petitioners to secure a minimum number of signatures from registered voters, in order to force a referendum.
Arkansas: Two competing ballot initiatives would both allow medical marijuana.
The ballot initiative also contained two other components-a requirement that doctors consult a statewide database before prescribing schedule II and schedule III drugs and a raising of the medical malpractice cap on noneconomic damages from $250,000 to $1.1 million.
A ballot initiative banning GM agriculture in Maui succeeded earlier this month with slightly more than 50 percent of the vote, but agribusinesses filed suit in federal court asking a judge to overturn the measure.