By Chris Megerian
September 23, 2013, 4:35 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Advocates trying to place initiatives on California’s ballot may face new requirements under a bill approved by the Legislature this month.

The measure, AB 857 by Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), would require 10% of petition signatures to be gathered by volunteers instead of paid workers.
However, critics say the bill would unfairly empower unions – their members would be counted as volunteers even if they’re on labor’s payroll.

Phil Ung of California Common Cause said the measure would do little to remove the influence of big money on the initiative process while giving an unfair advantage to unions.

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