Bill to allow signature-based pay for circulators passes

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Organizers of Nebraska petition drives could once again pay circulators by the signature under a bill passed by lawmakers.

Senators advanced the bill 42-0 through a third and final vote on Tuesday. It now goes to Gov. Pete Ricketts.

A 2008 ban on signature-based compensation forces groups to pay petition circulators hourly. Sen. Mike Groene of North Platte, who introduced the repeal measure, says many grassroots citizen groups don’t have the resources to pay circulators hourly.

An initiative or referendum petition allows registered voters to place an amendment on the ballot. Paying by the signature creates an incentive for circulators to gather more, but some critics say it encourages fraud and aggressive behavior.

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