Part 1: Preliminaries (6-8 weeks from date of filing, i.e., from early April until May or June)

The initiative process starts with having 5 Utah voters sign a notarized application and then submitting that application to the Lieutenant Governor together with ballot language and various other statements. To maximize the signature-gathering window that should happen on or shortly after Th April 4, 2019. (We ended up filing on M April 8.) Then there’s a roughly 30-day period (3 working days plus 25 calendar days) until we get a Fiscal Estimate; that should come by Monday May 6. Update May 9: Here’s the initial Fiscal Estimate. 

Then we need to hold and record at least seven public hearings around the state, including in:

  1.    Logan or other location in the Bear River region (Box Elder, Cache, or Rich County);
  2.    St George or elsewhere in the Southwest region (Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, or Washington).
  3.    Provo or elsewhere in the Mountain region (Summit, Utah, or Wasatch). 
  4.    Nephi or elsewhere in the Central region (Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, or Wayne);
  5.    Price or elsewhere in the Southeast region (Carbon, Emery, Grand, or San Juan);
  6.    Duchesne or elsewhere in the Uintah Basin region (Daggett, Duchesne, or Uintah); and
  7.    SLC or elsewhere in the Wasatch Front region (Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Tooele, or Weber). 

These hearings (details here) will be on Tuesday and Wednesday May 7-8. Update May 9: They happened! Recordings are at the link. 

Then we can modify our ballot language if desired (update May 17: We filed our updated measure today!), which triggers another delay of up to 3 working days plus 25 calendar days for an updated Fiscal Estimate… and then the Lieutenant Governor gives us a sample petition packet. Then we print up copies, the Lieutenant Governor takes five business days to number them, and then we can start signature gathering (no later than June 25, hopefully earlier!). 

Part 2: Signature gathering (mid/late June 2019 – mid February 2020)

The previous signature target was 10% of Presidential voters (113,143 valid signatures) plus that same 10% target in 26 of 29 state senate districts (usually about 4,000 valid signatures, depending on the district). The new signature target—thanks to legislation passed in 2019—is 8% of active voters (115,869 valid signatures) plus that same 8% target in 26 of 29 state senate districts (again about 4,000 valid signatures; see exact numbers at the link, or in the list below).

It seems likely that we will not be able to meet the target in district #24 (south-central Utah, where you need 3,739 signatures) simply because all of the 2018 initiatives fell short here, but it seems quite feasible to hit the targets statewide and in the remaining 28 districts (note that we only need 26 of these):

  • 2 districts near Logan / Utah State: #17 and #25 (signatures needed: 4,208 and 3,801, respectively);
  • 3 districts near Ogden / Weber State: #18-20 (signatures needed: 3,368, 3,846, and 3,614);
  • 5 districts near Provo / BYU and Orem / UVU: #7, #13-16 (signatures needed: 3,933, 5,019, 4,407, 3,645, and 3,080);
  • 15 districts near SLC: #1-6, #8-12, #21-23, #26 (signatures needed: in districts #1-6: 2,397, 4,410, 3,442, 5,012, 2,872, and 3,652; in districts #8-12: 4,280, 4,575, 5,259, 4,626, and 3,272; in districts #21-23: 3,895, 4,548, and 4,352; and in district #26: 4,305);
  • 2 districts near St George / Dixie State: #28-29 (signatures needed: 3,927 and 4,416); and
  • 1 district that includes Moab: #27 (Price/Moab/etc.; signatures needed: 3,950).

Together these 28 districts total 112,111 signatures, so with a cushion in a few of them we will also hit the 8% statewide target of 115,869.

Per HB145, signatures must be turned in within 30 days of signing. If they are turned in before December 1st then names of verified signers must be posted online by the county clerk within 30 days of those signatures being turned in, and then there is a 90-day window after names are posted online for opponents to get signers to remove their names. (For signatures turned in on or after December 1st, names of verified signers must be posted online by the county clerk within 21 days, and then there is a 45-day window for signers to remove their names.)

Part 3: The election campaign (Feb 2020 – Nov 3, 2020)

We will work to pass our measure at the ballot on Nov 3, 2020! In order to win we will need to minimize opposition, gain the support of prominent Republicans, and avoid being torpedoed by the left.

Part 4: After the election

Win or lose, we will work to continue the momentum built during the campaign. This will include defending and strengthening the measure in the legislature (if we win) or working in the legislature to pass other clean air and climate bills (if we lose).