Michigan House panel advances bill to restrict ballot drives

Posted at 10:56 AM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 10:56:34-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — 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.