Lame-duck: Michigan House panel OKs bill to make it harder to organize ballot drives

Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

LANSING, Mich. – 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.