• December 10 2017

Anderson v. Healey - Final Opening Brief

Plaintiffs bring this lawsuit to exclude from the 2018 ballot an initiative petition that threatens to undermine our representative system of government and our separation of powers, and the long-standing consensus that the Legislature must maintain ultimate control over public finances. Petition No. 15-17 (the “Challenged Initiative”) would amend the Constitution to mandate a 4% surtax on all incomes above a specified level, with the revenue collected earmarked “only” for education and transportation spending. The Initiative is truly radical: Our Constitution never has mandated that a specific tax be imposed – let alone that a specific tax rate be collected – and, in the century since Article 48 introduced the initiative petition process, the Court repeatedly has affirmed that initiative petitions cannot be used to embed spending earmarks in the Constitution.