Brown vetoes California badge requirement

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September 7, 2011

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By Tyler Millhouse

SACRAMENTO, California: On Tuesday, September 6, Governor Jerry Brown (D) vetoed Senate Bill 448 which would have created a badge requirement in California. Specifically, SB 448 would have required that paid petition circulators wear a badge indicating that they are a paid worker. In a statement released with the veto, Brown called the bill "provocative, but ultimately unpersuasive." He added that the bill was a "slippery slope" towards greater state intrusion. A few weeks ago, Brown vetoed Senate Bill 168 which would have banned pay-per-signature.

Advocates argue that disclosing which circulators are paid provides valuable information to the public. Opponents note that citizen's are already free to inquire whether and by whom circulators are paid. Opponents also contend that the bill would burden petitioners, hampering their ability to collect signatures.[1][2]

Prior to reaching the Governor's desk, the Assembly amended the bill. Before the amendment, the bill also required volunteer petitioners to wear badges indicating their volunteer status. In addition, the earlier version required the badges to identify where in California the circulator was registered to vote. While the earlier version did not require the circulator to be registered, unregistered circulators would have been identified as "NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE" on the badges. The bill's sponsor was Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D).[3][4]

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