With the clock ticking, opponents of a new law limiting future initiatives to November elections have failed to raise the cash needed to qualify a referendum for the ballot.
About two months remain for opponents of Senate Bill 202 to gather the roughly 505,000 valid voter signatures needed to ask voters to overturn the law. Collecting that many signatures in such a short time frame has proven to be a costly endeavor.
"As of right now, there has not been enough financial support for it to really get off the ground," Chuck Bell, the GOP political attorney who filed the referendum papers, said in an interview Wednesday.
The law, backed by labor unions, was introduced and approved in the final hours of this year's legislative session. Supporters argued that it makes more sense for initiatives to be considered during the general election, when voter turnout is typically higher. Republicans blasted the move as a power grab intended to give Democrats and labor allies an edge in defeating an initiative affecting unions' ability to collect members' dues for political purposes that was expected to qualify for the June 2012 ballot.
Bell said the referendum petitions, which have been cleared for circulation by the state attorney general's office, are mocked up and ready to hit the streets if financial backing from the state GOP or other interests emerges.
"I think it's kind of an open issue at this point," he said. "The people that have expressed any interest in it in the past are aware that the clock is running on it."