BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A group that wants to repeal longstanding Sunday business restrictions in North Dakota is a step closer to bringing the matter to a public vote.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger (JAY'-gur) has approved for circulation a petition for a ballot initiative to end the state's so-called blue laws.

The petition will need signatures from about 13,500 North Dakotans to put it to a statewide vote next year.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says about a dozen states have some form of Sunday sales laws, but only North Dakota prohibits shopping on Sunday morning. The Legislature has defeated several measures over the years to end that prohibition.