Bill Barring Compensation Based on Signatures Collected for Ballot Measures Attracts Wide Range of Opposition

Jeffrey ErnstFriedman | May 10, 2011

May 10, 2011 - SB 168, introduced by Ellen Corbett, would make it "a misdemeanor for a person to pay or to receive money or any other thing of value based on the number of signatures collected on a state or local initiative, referendum, or recall petition," according to a document produced by the Office of Senate Floor Analyses. The bill was passed by the Senate on May 9 by a 23-15 margin. No Republicans voted in favor of passage and no Democrats voted against passage.

The measure gathered a large collection of industry opposition, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies, the Western Growers Association, the Humane Society, and the California New Car Dealers Association. Supporters of the bill included the California Labor Federation, California Professional Firefighters, and the Sierra Club.

  • Interest groups that oppose this bill (Accident & health insurance, Pharmaceutical manufacturing, Builders associations, etc.) gave 20% more to senators that voted NO than to senators that voted YES
  • Interest groups that support this bill (Police & fire fighters unions and associations, Labor unions, Environmental policy, etc.) gave 59% more to senators that voted YES than to senators that voted NO

A list of the supporting and opposing groups and their contributions can be found on MapLight's SB 168 bill page.

Includes reported contributions to campaigns of senators in office on day of vote, from interest groups invested in the vote according to MapLight, January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2010. Contributions data source: