Taking the Initiative! 

Who's Already Gathering Signatures for 2012?

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IT'S NOVEMBER 2011, but already 16 groups have filed paperwork aiming to land 30 different initiatives on the November 2012 ballot. To get on the ballot, each campaign needs to collect about 80,000 signatures. The only two surefire debates on the Oregon ballot are pot and taxes, but here's a rundown on what other laws petitioners might be pestering you to support.

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No Studs! Bike advocate Jeff Bernards is fanatical about banning studded car tires in Oregon. His Preserving Oregon Roads petition wants a statewide ban on the metal-laced winter tires that eat up our roadways to the tune of $50 million annually.

Tax the One Percent! With the Occupy-friendly name of "Fund Schools, Not the One Percent," an initiative from progressive group Our Oregon would eliminate the personal kicker for the top-earning one percent of Oregon taxpayers, putting their refund into the state's general fund instead.

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Cougar Fights! Two initiatives seek to overturn the state's 1994 voter-approved ban on hunting cougars with dogs. This is more of an Eastern Oregon issue than one Portlanders would need to deal with.

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Chicken Rights! The "Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act" would ban farms from housing hens in cages that aren't big enough for them to turn around, lie down, and fully extend their wings.

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Death to the Death Tax! Four initiatives seek to ban or phase out the tax on inheritances and estates. The so-called "Death Tax" is a perennial issue for conservatives.

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Down with Obamacare! A "Right to Private Health Care" initiative would ban fees on people who refuse to purchase health care—a key piece of the federal health care overhaul.

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