This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.
There’s a reason lawmaking is often compared with making sausage: It isn’t always a pretty sight when legislators wrangle, compromise, horse trade and even yell at each other.
Still, compared with the initiative process, that’s generally the better way of getting things done; it more often results in laws that have been vetted for practicality as well as their chances of withstanding judicial review.
But when lawmakers fail to act on an issue of concern for significant numbers of their constituents — and especially when they’re intimidated by a powerful special interest — then it’s up to the people to act. In past years, for instance, lawmakers wouldn’t buck Big Tobacco in order to enact a statewide public smoking ban. So the people acted, passing an initiative by a wide margin to prohibit smoking in public places. Read more »