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Court strikes down big parts of petition law

Petition form photo

A court says a state law makes it too hard for citizen-led petition drives to adopt new laws and amendments to the Michigan constitution.

The law was adopted in 2018 by the Republican-controlled Legislature. It was signed by then-Governor Rick Snyder not long before he left office. It imposed new restrictions on petition campaigns. One of the new rules says no more than 15 percent of signatures could be collected from a single congressional district. Beyond that, the names would be tossed out. But the Michigan Court of Appeals says that violates free speech rights in the Michigan and US constitutions. The court also says signature collectors don’t have to say whether or not they are getting paid. Republicans say they’re still deciding their next move. They could appeal the decision to the Michigan Supreme Court.

I’m Rick Pluta