Governor Vetoes Signature Gatherer Reform

Governor claims reform too “dramatic”

by Brian Leubitz

Last week, Justine Sarver wrote about SB 168, a fairly simple reform that would ban paying initiative signature gatherers per signature.  As Justine noted, the reform would reduce the risk of signature fraud and offer more secure employment with a living wage.  However, yesterday Governor Brown vetoed the bill:

Brown wasn’t swayed: “This is a dramatic change to a long established democratic process in California,” he wrote. “I am not persuaded that the unintended consequences won’t be worse than the abuse the bill aims to prevent.”

Corbett, in a statement, said she was disappointed in the veto. “Direct democracy can only work if voters know what they are signing and voting upon,” she said. “This law has proved to be an effective remedy in other states to help prevent fraud without making it more difficult to put initiatives on the ballot.” (SacBee)

Hopefully the bill will come back in some form or fashion.  As it stands now, the process needs some “dramatic” change.

12 thoughts on “Governor Vetoes Signature Gatherer Reform”

  1. I’d like some additional reforms along with reform of payment. Basically, any money used in signature drives has to come from personal funds of California citizens. Any corporations that fund petition drives must be incorporated in California, not be a subsidiary of an out of state entity and be using funds that were received as profit from work performed unrelated to politics or lobbying. A PAC or Group meeting the same criteria could receive and spend these funds provided no out of state funds are mixed in (including funds for the payment of staff, facilities etc). Basically, only Californians can fund a petition drive and no front companies to launder out of state funds. I don’t really like the idea of corporate money here but in the age of Citizens United that’s the best I can think of.

    Also, signature gatherers, paid or unpaid, must be California citizens. No bussing an army of people in to gather signatures that Californians otherwise wouldn’t do the work to gather.

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