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Senate passes measure to make proposed constitutional initiatives to be grass-roots

The state Senate has passed a proposed state Constitutional measure that its sponsor says is to make sure any amendment to the Constitution comes from North Dakotans, and not out of state interests.

"The North Dakota Constitution stands naked on Main Street," said Sen. Janne Myrdal (R-Edinburg). "Anyone out-of-state with a couple million dollars can attach it to a dart and throw it into our state and change our Constitution. It is way too easy."

As passed, it requires an initiated Constitutional measure to be placed on both the primary and general election ballot. It also prohibits paid circulators, and requires circulators to be North Dakota residents for at least 120 days.

The required number of signatures to get it on the ballot would be equal to around 5 percent of the state’s population.

"It (the measure) would make it a genuine grass-roots North Dakota organic thing, with North Dakotans behind the wheel, if you will," Myrdal said. "That's pretty clear."

The amendment passed 44 to 3. It will now be considered in the House.

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