Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Leading e-signature executive endorses Nebraska’s Smart Initiatives bill; sponsor works cautiously to move it forward

Michael Laurie, VP and co-founder of Silanis, a leading electronic signature company, today endorsed the passage of LB 566, Nebraska’s pending Smart Initiatives legislation, which would allow Nebraskans to electronically sign official initiative, referendum, and recall petitions online.

In a prepared statement, Mr. Laurie said:

“We applaud the Nebraska Smart Initiatives Bill as a great potential step toward making collaborative, accessible government a reality in Nebraska. There is no reason that a smart initiative could not succeed – affordable, proven technology is available and citizens are certainly ready to embrace the convenience and cost-cutting benefits of electronic processes.”

For more about the history and development of the Smart Initiatives concept, click here.

Meanwhile, the bill’s author, Nebraska State Senator Paul Schumacher is moving forward cautiously in his efforts to get the bill passed into law.

A hearing on LB 566 is scheduled for March 2nd before the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. His goal during this session of the legislature, according to a spokesperson in his office, is “just to get the issue in front of the committee.” State Senator Schumacher won’t be bringing anyone to testify on the bill’s behalf, but welcomes walk-ins who might want to support it. “He’s not soliciting testimony,” the spokesperson said, adding that “he’s just feeling his way through” in educating legislators about the idea of using the Internet to collect electronic signatures on official government petitions, something not yet explicitly authorized in any of the 50 states.

The current session of the unicameral Nebraska legislature runs until June 3rd. According to his spokesperson, Senator Schumacher “may push more during the next session of the legislature,” which will meet in 2012.

Previous Etopia News coverage of the Nebraska Smart Initiatives bill, LB 566, can be found in these three articles:

Nebraska's LB 566 would implement Smart Initiatives in the Cornhusker State

Mixed prospects ahead for LB 566 in committee

Governor of Nebraska has not taken a position on LB 566, Nebraska’s “Smart Initiative” bill

For more about Smart Initiatives in the global context, go to:

A spectre is haunting more than Europe--the spectre of Smart Initiatives

Egypt, Utah, EU: Support for, and opposition to, Internet-mediated efforts to expand democratic governance

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