Californians can thank Governor Jerry Brown for protecting their initiative and referendum rights. Monday, Brown vetoed Senate Bill 168, which would have made it a crime to pay a person circulating a petition, or even offer anything of value or any  incentive, based on the number of signatures gathered on a petition.

As Gov. Brown argued in his veto message, SB 168 would have make ”˜productivity goals a crime’ and ”˜drive up the cost of circulating ballot measures, thereby further favoring the wealthiest interests.’

Pete PetersonPete Peterson, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, is the latest to join in the effort to convince California Gov. Jerry Brown to veto Senate Bill 168.

SilenceThe Sacramento Bee, one of California’s largest newspapers, is calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to veto a bill (SB 168) that would prohibit petition circulators from being paid by the signature. The Bee correctly points out that the legislation would only serve to empower special interests while silencing grassroots voter groups:

Back in August Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issed and “amendatory veto” to House Bill 723, the “Protect Incumbents Act”. The bill deals with blocking minor political parties ability to put candidates on the ballot through a party meeting that occurrs after the primary election.

Ballot initiative rights activists continue to criticize Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry for his veto of a popular bi-partisan reform bill over the weekend. HB 2246 would have opened up Oklahoma’s toughest-in-the-nation initiative process and protected voters and signature gatherers from harassment.