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Md. petition reform: a tempest in a teapot
Twenty years after the last time Maryland voters weighed in on a law passed by the General Assembly, they got the chance to do it three times in 2012, with referendums on in-state tuition for some illegal immigrants, same-sex marriage and a gerrymandered congressional district map designed to deliver one more seat to the Democrats. The powers that be in Annapolis are not thrilled — Gov. Martin O'Malley proclaimed it "a little too easy" to put a law on the ballot — and now several of them have introduced legislation to make the task harder. Though Maryland's recent experiences with petitions have exposed some flaws with the process, lawmakers should think twice before declaring referendums to be a dangerous trend that needs to be curtailed.
January 29, 2013