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Missouri lawmakers try to regulate petition process

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers are considering a bill that places restrictions on the initiative petition process, but federal courts are questioning the regulations’ constitutionality.

The Columbia Missourian reports that the bill heard last week includes four new regulations. Petition circulators would be required to wear a name tag indicating whether they are paid, and they wouldn’t be allowed to get paid based on the number of signatures gathered. Circulators would also have to be residents of Missouri and registered voters.

Federal courts across the country have challenged the legality of such regulations. Lobbyist Woody Cozad says that although the small individual regulations on the petition process are constitutional, as a package they are not.

Bill sponsor Republican Rep. Jay Houghton says the courts will decide if his bill is constitutional.
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Information from: Columbia Missourian, http://www.columbiamissourian.com