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Sen. Johnson comments on governor’s veto of initiative petition processing bill

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Elections Committee Chair Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoing Senate Bill 280, which would have required the Board of State Canvassers to complete the canvass of an initiative petition within 100 days after the petition is filed with the secretary of state’s office:

“This legislation was not partisan, but the governor and secretary of state have chosen to make everything partisan. I personally didn’t agree with many parts of Proposal 3 of 2018 when I was secretary of state, but I made sure we processed those petitions in 53 days because that was my responsibility to the people of Michigan. One hundred days is a reasonable timeframe. This veto is not about good public policy, it is about partisan politics.

“This bill was necessary because Secretary of State Benson’s office has taken six to nine months to process the last two citizen initiatives — in one case taking longer to review the signatures than it took for the citizens to gather them. It disenfranchises people who are trying to exercise their rights under the Constitution to propose changes in our laws.”