SACRAMENTO -- Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork has the signatures that Seattle billionaire Chris Hansen paid to collect.  

Despite statements Hansen made saying he did not want to be involved and would not turn over the petitions his money paid to collect, STOP has announced they've taken possession of them.

STOP Spokesperson John Hyde was guarded in his acknowledgement of them.

"It's a significant step toward achieving the goal. We need 22,000 valid signatures and we are significantly toward that goal," Hyde said.

The 18,000 signatures still need to be verified in order to be used by STOP. 

In a press release, STOP says the signatures were turned over by an Orange County political communications company.