The Latest: Michigan House OKs bill to limit ballot drives

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the Michigan Legislature’s lame-duck session (all times local):

11:30 p.m.

A lame-duck bill that would make it harder to organize ballot drives has passed in the Michigan House as it advances in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

The House approved the legislation late Wednesday on a 60-49 mostly party-line vote. It would impose a geographic threshold for groups proposing constitutional amendments, initiated bills and referendums. They would be limited to collecting no more than 15 percent of their signatures from a single congressional district — a change from a 10 percent threshold passed earlier by a House committee.

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Critics oppose the bill as unconstitutionally hampering the ability to pursue ballot drives. But business groups supporting the legislation say it is needed.

The Republican-led Senate could vote next week before adjourning the Legislature’s two-year session.

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10:40 a.m.

A lame-duck bill advancing in Michigan’s Republican-controlled Legislature would make it harder to organize ballot drives.

The House Elections and Ethics Committee passed the legislation on a 6-3 party-line vote Wednesday. It would impose a geographic threshold for groups proposing constitutional amendments, initiated bills and referendums. They would be limited to collecting no more than 10 percent of their signatures from a single congressional district.

Groups across the political spectrum — such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Right to Life — oppose the bill as unconstitutionally hampering their ability to pursue ballot drives. But business groups supporting the legislation say it is needed.

The full House may vote later Wednesday.

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