Crist vetoes bill that would penalize citizen petitioners

06/27/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

After considerable lobbying by good government groups, Governor Charlie Crist yesterday vetoed a bill that would have required voter signatures on initiative petitions to be submitted within 30 days. Ben Wilcox is with Common Cause of Florida. The home page of his group’s website prominently advocated for supporters to contact the Governor to tell him to veto Senate Bill 900, (roll tape#1 o.q.”can actually use”) In vetoing the bill, Governor Crist said that the provision would ‘significantly burden the right of Florida citizens to propose amendments to the Constitution by increasing the likelihood that voters would be denied the opportunity to have their voices heard.’ Crist’s veto follows the passage of the Major Elections bill that eliminated touch screen voting machines and moved the Presidential Primary to next January. That bill also contained a provision that would allow for the revocation of petition signatures. Brad Ashwell from the Florida Public Intergest Research Group says the distinction from that present legislation and what was just rejected is when the timeline runs on when those revocation forms can be turned in (roll tape#2 o.q.” and hound them”)

Common Cause’s Ben Wilcox agrees (roll tape#3 o.q.”did pass”)

Among the major supporters of Senate Bill 900 was The Florida Chamber of Commerce. A spokesman for the group simply said the Chamber was ‘disappointed ‘ with Crist’s veto.

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