Detroit news reports
The legislation, now headed to the state House of Representatives, would eliminate a part of state election law allowing petitioners to challenge the presumption that signatures are “stale and void” if they are collected outside a 180-day period.
The Republican-led Senate approved the bill in a 26-10 vote, mostly along party lines.
MI Legalize, an activist-led group seeking to put a marijuana proposal on the November ballot, passed its original collection deadline in December but is asking the state to revisit a 30-year-old policy for proving the validity of older signatures.
Sponsoring Sen. Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc, said Thursday that his bill is not about the marijuana proposal or any other specific petition drive.
“It’s very simple: 180 days means 180 days,” Robertson told The Detroit News. “We’re not changing it. We’re affirming it.”
“They decided to pass a bill to stop that process,” said state Sen. Coleman Young II, D-Detroit. “They’re not doing this because of legitimate reasons; they’re doing this simply because they don’t like the issue of the legalization of marijuana.”
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