Legislature moves to raise bar on constitutional amendments

April 11, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s Republican-led Legislature has moved to make more difficult for citizens to amend the state constitution.

The House endorsed a Senate resolution Thursday that allows the Legislature to vote on an initiated measure following voters’ approval. The initiative would go back to voters for final approval if it fails to win lawmakers’ endorsement.

Opponents of the resolution argue the move squelches residents’ participation in the legislative process and is contrary to the will of the people.

The Senate still must approve a House amendment that requires an initiated measure be placed only on a general election ballot.

If Senators agree, the resolution must be approved by voters because it amends the state constitution.

North Dakota is among about two dozen states with some form of an initiative process.