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Lawmaker proposes a ban on “referendum-proofing”

Election polling station sign
Wikimedia | Tom Arthur | CC BY 2.0

 A Democratic state lawmaker has called for closing a loophole that allows the Legislature to shield some controversial laws from ballot challenges.

The Michigan Constitution says spending bills can’t be challenged by a voter referendum.

In recent years, the Legislature’s Republican majorities have used spending provisions to make controversial laws like right-to-work and the emergency manager act referendum-proof.

State Representative Jim Townsend says it’s being abused.

“They’re trying to circumvent the will of the people.”

Townsend’s proposed amendment to the state constitution would have to be put on the ballot by the Legislature and then approved by voters.

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