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Progressive Victories

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Do you know… about recent progressive victories on state ballot measures?

In the November 2 election state ballots contained a nationwide total of 163 questions.  And while the media has obsessed over the issue of same-sex marriage which was on the ballot in 11 states, less attention has been paid to other important votes related to jobs, healthcare, education, and the environment.  Here are some highlights of progressive victories on state ballot initiatives or referenda, including two successful measures that were designated as urgent action items by the American Progress Action Fund: 

Ballot initiatives and referenda

Minimum wage

  • Florida passed Amendment 5, which sets the minimum wage at $6.15 and adjusts it to inflation. American Progress Action Fund success! Thanks to all who took action!
  • Nevada approved Question 6, which raises the minimum wage to $6.15 and adjusts it to inflation.


  • Maine defeated Amendment 1, which would have limited property taxes to 1% of their assessed value. American Progress Action Fund success! Thanks to all who took action!
  • Washington defeated Initiative 892, which would have allowed non-tribal slot machine taxes to offset property taxes.


  • Montana passed Initiative 149, which increases taxes on tobacco products by $1 to pay for children’s health care.
  • California passed Proposition 63, providing funds to expand mental health programs.
  • California passed Proposition 71, establishing the Institute for Regenerative Medicine to conduct stem cell research.


  • North Carolina passed Amendment 2, which more equitably distributes civil fine revenue among school districts.
  • Washington passed Referendum 55, which overturns a charter-schools law that was approved narrowly by the state legislature.


  • Colorado passed Amendment 37, requiring public utilities to generate 10% of their energy from renewable sources by 2015.
  • Washington passed Initiative 297, banning dumping of nuclear waste.
  • Arizona defeated Proposition 100, which would have allowed the state to trade public lands under certain circumstances.
  • Montana defeated Amendment I-147, which would have permitted cyanide use in open pit mining.


  • Colorado passed Referendum 4A, which imposes a penny sales tax for light rail expansion.

Medical malpractice

  • Florida passed Amendment 7, which grants broader family rights to patient medical data in suspected cases of medical error.
  • Florida passed Amendment 8, which bars doctors who have committed 3+ instances of medical malpractice from practicing in the state.

To learn more, visit The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, and download their full report.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Center for American Progress' Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or