AUGUSTA, Maine: On Monday, March 22, the Maine State Senate voted 20-14 in favor of bill LD 1730, a bill sponsored by Sen. John Nutting. The bill adds a fine for violating current state petition gathering laws and requires that paid circulators and businesses that hire circulators register with the state. Additionally, Nutting's bill proposes prohibiting persons convicted of fraud from circulating petitions for up to 5 years. Republicans argue that the bill does little to dissuade fraud and is "about feeling good," said Sen. Debra Plowman. Democrats argue otherwise, officials said the bill would increase transparency and prevent fraud. Sen. Bruce Bryant said,"This bill is not about trying to stop petitions, this bill is about trying to stop fraud in the petition process. So if you're opposed to the bill, then you support fraud in the system."