The bill requires ballot initiatives pay petitioners by the hour, rather than by each signature they collect. They must register as an in-state circulator with the Secretary of State and turn in all signatures within 30 days of being signed.
Ballot initiatives must also include the name of the initiative’s sponsor and the amount of money raised by in-state donors. Violating the provisions carry steep penalties, such as fines of up to $1,000 for “willfully” not meeting deadline and the threat of getting sued by the Florida Attorney General’s office.
Republican lawmakers justified the bill by saying it was meant to crack down on fraud. But its advocate in the Senate, David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, could not point to any cases of fraud.
What the legislation is sure to do, however, is stifle the last area outside of statewide Republican control in Florida.