“Lawsuit challenges $3,700 fee, other new restrictions, on Montana citizen initiative process”

From the Daily Montanan:

Ten Montanans, including former elected officials and Constitutional Convention delegates, have sued the state arguing a bill that adds a host of new requirements for people trying to get initiatives and constitutional amendments onto the ballot violates the state constitution.

At issue is Senate Bill 93, sponsored by Sen. Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka, which Gov. Greg Gianforte signed into law on May 19 after it passed both chambers on party lines in its final form, with Republicans in support.

The bill implements a nonrefundable $3,700 filling fee for an initiative or referendum when a proponent files the proposal; adds layers to the review process that give the attorney general and secretary of state power to reject the language of a proposal; and implements more reporting requirements on the face of the petition about its effect on business and its overall fiscal impact.

Further, it prohibits a proposal from being run if a similar one was defeated in the past four years; bars the use of electronic signatures; and adds a requirement that paid signature gatherers register with the secretary of state and pay a fee of up to $100 unless they can show their inability to pay.

Share this: