Tax rebels and the environmental movement were snubbed by the nation's voters, but so were ballot measures calling for higher taxes. Gun control forces won a victory in Florida, and supporters of limiting politicians' time in office triumphed in California, Colorado and Kansas City, Mo.
In Tuesday's most closely watched ballot initiative, Californians rejected Proposition 128, a far-reaching lineup of environmental regulations dubbed "Big Green" by supporters who included a galaxy of Hollywood stars. Opponents, led by industrial companies, marshaled $10 million in their campaign to defeat it.Measures backed by environmentalists to regulate land use and pollution also lost in Washington, Oregon and Missouri. A $1.97 billion bond issue to pay for environmental projects failed in New York.
Citizen initiatives calling for drastic tax cuts or limits on government spending lost in Massachusetts, Nebraska, Colorado and Utah. But in Oregon, an initiative to limit property taxes to 1.5 percent of assessed value passed narrowly.
Florida voters amended the state constitution to require a three-day wait on handgun purchases.
In other voting, a pair of anti-abortion proposals lost in Oregon, while Nevadans made it harder to change that state's liberal abortion law.
A proposal to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a holiday in Arizona lost by fewer than 15,000 votes out of 1 million cast, leaving the state as one of three without a formal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.
Voters in Oregon defeated a plan to give tax credits to parents who send their children to parochial or other private schools, and Arizonans rejected a proposal to increase spending on education by about $6 billion over 10 years.
The Massachusetts tax initiative would have repealed two income tax increases and rescinded fee increases since 1988, costing the state's government $2.6 billion in its next fiscal year. It lost by a 3-to-2 margin.
The measure would have been the biggest voter-initiated state tax rollback in history.
Nebraskans voted 2-to-1 against the "Two Percent Solution," which would have capped growth in local and state government spending at 2 percent a year.
Montanans voted against a proposal to make the state cigarette tax the highest in the nation in an attempt to reduce smoking.
The nearly 2-to-1 defeat of California's "Big Green" was a big setback for environmentalists. The measure would have imposed a wide range of controls on emissions, pesticides, offshore oil-drilling and logging.