The California Assembly has passed a bill that would raise the filing fee for a voter initiative or referendum from $200 to $8,000.
It’s in response to a ballot initiative filed earlier this year that calls for gays and lesbians to be put to death by firing squad.
Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low says the filing fee hasn’t been raised since 1943.
“This reform is overdue but more importantly will defer frivolous proposals from being submitted,“ Low said. “This is a good government reform bill and I respectfully ask for your aye vote.”
But Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove says even though the initiative’s author is “vile and reprehensible,” that doesn’t justify raising the price of free speech in California.
“The issue should be about the people’s right to be able to have a grievance against their government through the init process if that’s what they choose to do,” Grove said.
The measure now moves from the Assembly to the California Senate.