State Watch

Michigan governor signs bill making ballot drives harder

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed legislation on Friday that will make it more difficult for groups to get initiatives placed on the ballot, according to The Associated Press.

During the end-of-year lame duck session, Snyder ignored outside pressure to veto the legislation and signed it into law.

The bill requires that no more than 15 percent of signatures required to get an initiative on the ballot come from any one of the state’s 14 congressional districts.{mosads}

Opponents of the bill say it will limit petition gatherers’ ability to gain signatures in densely populated urban districts because of gerrymandering.

“There is probably grounds to challenge as it’s severely limiting the constitutional right of citizens to petition their government,” Democratic state Rep. Yousef Rabhi told the Detroit Metro Times earlier this month.

The legislation comes after a ballot drive successfully placed marijuana decriminalization and other proposals on the statewide ballot that successfully passed in the November midterm elections.

The measure signed by Snyder comes just days before he is set to leave office.

The GOP-led legislature has also made several efforts to diminish the power of incoming Democratic officeholders.


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