Maine initiative reform approved

Posted March 29, 2010, at 2:34 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Concerns about the integrity of Maine’s ballot initiative process have prompted action on a bill to tighten the requirements for organizations behind petition campaigns.

The House on Monday agreed with the Senate and approved a measure requiring businesses that receive compensation for circulating petitions to register with the Secretary of State.

Supporters say the bill would improve Maine’s century-old citizen initiative process by giving the public better knowledge of groups that pay millions of dollars to push for changes to state law through petition efforts.

A separate bill, also intended to improve the initiative process, was rejected by the House on Monday. It sought a constitutional amendment requiring initiative supporters to show how much their proposal would cost and how it would be paid for.

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