Delegate Neil Parrott (called ‘person of the year’ by columnist Blair Lee) is among members of the Maryland General Assembly proposing new measures to make the referendum an even more important tool to help Marylanders check state government excesses.
From the Herald Mail on Saturday:
The petition process is under a microscope in Annapolis.
State legislators are looking ahead to a referendum this fall on a new law granting in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants.
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If the General Assembly legalizes same-sex marriage, the conventional wisdom is that that, too, will end up on the ballot.
With petitions becoming a more potent tool in overturning state laws, some legislators are looking closely at ways to improve the process.
Del. Neil C. Parrott, R-Washington — who spearheaded the petition drive against the in-state tuition bill — is pushing to make petition signatures confidential, except for court challenges. Maryland considers petitions public documents.
Other proposed bills this year target harassment in the signature-gathering process, make more laws subject to referendum and give people a second chance to sign a petition if their first attempt is ruled invalid.
“I think people on both sides of the aisle are looking to the future, realizing that this is now a tool that can be used here in Maryland,” Parrott said.
Please read the whole article and decide for yourselves which measures are important and have a chance of succeeding. The US Supreme Court has already ruled that petition-signers have no expectation of anonymity and who knows that better then CASA de Maryland’s lawyer Joseph Sandler.
In 2010 Sandler filed an amicus brief in the case of Doe v. Reed arguing that petitioners names should be public. And, that is why he was there collecting even the first 50,000 names and addresses of petition signers at the State Board of Elections first reporting date, here. Subsequently his law firm received all signers names and addresses but scads of Democrat lawyers were unable to disqualify a sufficient number of signatures to invalidate the petition.