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Sponsor of 'Hill Bill' petition effort suing secretary of state

Jul 12, 2013 - By Trevor Brown, MCT News Service

CHEYENNE -- The lead sponsor of the failed petition drive seeking to repeal Senate File 104 is seeking another chance to challenge the new law.

Jennifer Young has filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Max Maxfield. It says the state did not give supporters enough time to collect signatures for the petition.

Young was the organizer of the push to scrap the new law. SF 104 stripped Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill of most of her powers and duties and transferred them to a new appointed director at the State Department of Education.

The petition drive fell thousands of signatures short of the required number needed to put a referendum on the ballot for the November 2014 general election.

But Young's lawsuit, filed in Laramie County District Court, says the Secretary of State's office took too long to produce the petition forms.

State law gives residents 90 days after the adjournment of a legislative session to gather the necessary signatures to initiate a voter referendum on a newly passed law.

It also requires the Secretary of State's office to certify that the petition is allowable and then to prepare and print the forms.

Young said it took two weeks for that to occur. She says this delay "obstructed" the petitioners from meeting their goal.

"That is 16 percent of the time we would've had to gather the signatures," she said. "That is critical time, and I know if we had that extra time we would've been able to meet the requirements."

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