7-1-11: The Power of a Signature
This past April, one of the most dramatic moments in Annapolis came when the state legislature passed what’s referred to as the Maryland DREAM Act. The law would allow certain illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges.
The law, which was scheduled to go into effect this week, is now on hold. Last night, challengers of the law delivered 75,000 additional signatures of Marylanders petitioning to send the measure to a statewide referendum next fall. The group needs only 8,500 of those signatures to be certified by the State Board of Elections to get the law onto the 2012 ballot. The State Board of Elections has until July 22 to certify the petitions
The effort to gather signatures for the petition was led by freshman Delegate Neil Parrott of Washington County. He created a website to help streamline the process of gathering signatures. The ACLU of Maryland says the site could “change the petition process in Maryland going forward,” and is asking the state board of elections to examine it.
Sheilah speaks with Delegate Parrott about what this may mean for this particular bill–and the future of petitioning in Maryland.