Traverse City Record-Eagle

Michigan

April 19, 2013

Signature gathering begins on referendum-proof laws

FERNDALE (AP) — A group plans to start collecting signatures for a ballot measure that would let Michigan voters repeal laws made referendum-proof with appropriations.

Ferndale-based Voters for Fair Use of Ballot Referendum plan to kick off its signature gathering at Detroit-area post offices on Thursday. Backers need nearly 323,000 valid signatures to put the constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot.

Michigan currently doesn’t permit referendum drives if a law includes an appropriation, or spending measure. Lawmakers have added appropriations to legislation such as the recent right-to-work and revised emergency manager laws.

Critics say laws that have very little to do with spending money are being purposely shielded from a public vote.

The founder of the ballot committee says he has approached larger organizations for support, but they have declined.

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