Governor signs bill creating hurdles to change constitution

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation that creates more hurdles for citizens to change the Florida Constitution through petition drives.

The bill signed into law Friday without comment requires paid petition gatherers to register with the secretary of state, outlaws paying gatherers based on the number of signatures they collect and creates fines if petitions aren’t turned in within 30 days. The petitions also must include the name and permanent address of the gatherer.

Democrats said that will discourage people from collecting petitions in an amendment process that’s already difficult. Republicans said it will help prevent fraud and keep out-of-state interests from meddling with the Florida Constitution.

Current law requires petitioners to gather more than 766,000 signatures to place a proposed amendment on the ballot.

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