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Maine initiative reform bill approved by lawmakers

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March 30, 2010

AUGUSTA, Maine: Yesterday, the House approved a ballot initiative reform bill, also known as LD 1730. Last year's elections developed questions and concerns about the state's initiative process, causing the proposal of several reforms. Specifically, the proposed legislation came as a result of a discovery in Greene, Maine that petition signatures for Maine Tax Code People's Veto (2010), which is currently on the ballot, were invalid. At least one signature was of a deceased town resident. LD 1730, sponsored by Sen. John Nutting, 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. Supporters argue the bill will strengthen the state's process and provide better disclosure behind the groups contributing to ballot measure efforts.[1][2]

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