LD 176
PUBLIC Law, Chapter 99

on - Session - 127th Maine Legislature
Bill Tracking, Additional Documents Chamber Status

An Act To Amend the Law Governing the Gathering of Signatures for Direct Initiatives and People's Veto Referenda

Emergency preamble. Whereas,  acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and

Whereas,  the integrity of the process for collecting signatures of direct initiative and people’s veto referenda is paramount to the implementation of this form of direct democracy; and

Whereas,  the collection of signatures for new direct initiatives and potential people's veto referenda may occur before the 90-day period has expired; and

Whereas,  in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 21-A MRSA §903-A, first ¶,  as enacted by PL 1989, c. 92, §1, is amended to read:

Petitions issued under this chapter may be circulated by any Maine resident who is a registered voter acting as a circulator of a petition. A circulator of a petition solicits signatures for the petition by presenting the petition to the voter, asking the voter to sign the petition and personally witnessing the voter affixing the voter's signature to the petition. The circulator of the petition must comply with the provisions of section 902.

Sec. 2. 21-A MRSA §903-C, sub-§1,  as enacted by PL 2009, c. 611, §4, is amended to read:

1. Registration.  Prior to organizing, supervising or managing the circulation of petitions for a direct initiative of legislation or a people's veto referendum, a petition organization, in addition to meeting any other requirement to transact business in this State, shall register with the Secretary of State on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State. The registration form must include the following:
A. The ballot question or title of each direct initiative of legislation or people's veto referendum for which the petition organization will receive compensation;
B. Contact information for the petition organization, including the name of the petition organization, street address or post office box, telephone number and e-mail address; and
C. The name and signature of a designated agent for the petition organization . ; and
D A list containing the names of all individuals hired by the petition organization to assist in circulating petitions or in organizing, supervising or managing the circulation. The list must be updated and resubmitted to the Secretary of State when the petitions are filed pursuant to the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 17 or 18.

The information contained in the registration form must be made available for public inspection and must be posted on the publicly accessible website of the Secretary of State.

Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.

Effective 90 days following adjournment of the 127th Legislature, First Regular Session, unless otherwise indicated.

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