Kay’s Answer: Right now, the only voices Alabamians have when it comes to influencing what goes on in Montgomery are the state senator and house member who work on behalf of their individual districts. That’s only two voices out of 140. The only time the people of Alabama get to vote on the actions of the State Legislature is when a constitutional amendment is proposed.
There are two other ways, though, that average citizens could make law even if Montgomery disagrees: “initiative” and “referendum.” They do not replace the legislature, but supplement it in case they fail to do our business.
Initiative allows any citizen to propose a new law, get enough signatures to place it on a ballot, and take it to the people for a vote. Referendum, on the other hand, is when laws are referred to the people for a vote, but the citizenry did not come up with the legislation.
Twenty-four states have initiative, referendum, or both. If we could pass these in Alabama, they would serve as an “insurance policy” to let the people make laws without the help of the Legislature.
How you would benefit:
If Alabama could pass Initiative and Referendum, we could do the important business of our state even if Montgomery didn’t want to.