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Politics & Government

The Latest: Election Board Deadlocks On Wage Measure

Construction and Marijuana
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The Latest on Michigan ballot initiatives (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

A legislative leader says initiated legislation to legalize marijuana for recreational use will go on the November ballot.

The Legislature could enact the bill on its own after it was certified by election officials Thursday, but House Speaker Tom Leonard says there is "not much support" within his Republican caucus.

Assuming the GOP-controlled Legislature does not act within 40 days, voters will decide the proposal's fate in November.

The proposal would let people 21 and older possess up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants at home. A 10 percent tax on marijuana would be assessed on top of the 6 percent state sales tax.

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12 p.m.

The Michigan elections board has deadlocked 2-2 on whether to certify initiated legislation that would repeal a law requiring higher "prevailing" wages on state-financed construction projects.

Republicans voted to approve the measure Thursday, while Democrats voted against after labor unions raised concerns over circulators' addresses.

Backers of the repeal bill vow to sue in the state Court of Appeals to get the measure certified. State staff had recommended certification.

If courts order the measure to be approved, it would first go to the Republican-led Legislature. Legislators could enact it or let voters decided in November.

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10:25 a.m.

Michigan's elections board says organizers of a ballot drive to legalize marijuana for recreation use collected enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

The Board of State Canvassers' ruling Thursday means the measure will first go to the Republican-led Legislature. Lawmakers could enact it or let it proceed to a statewide vote.

An opponent of the legislation urged the board to reject it, saying marijuana is illegal under federal law. But a canvasser says the board's role is ministerial, and the opposition should go to court if it wants to challenge the bill.

The proposal would let people 21 and older possess up to 2.5 ounces (71 grams) of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants at home. A 10 percent tax on marijuana would be assessed on top of the 6 percent state sales tax.

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5:35 a.m.

A ballot drive to legalize marijuana for recreational use is close to clearing a key hurdle.

Michigan's elections board on Thursday will consider certifying the initiated legislation after staff determined enough voter signatures were gathered. The canvassers also will take up a proposal that would repeal a law requiring higher "prevailing" wages on state-financed construction projects.

If the petitions are certified, both bills will go to the Republican-led Legislature. Lawmakers could either enact them into law or let the measures proceed to a statewide vote in November.

Trade unions urging the board to reject the anti-prevailing wage proposal say paid circulators improperly listed addresses where they do not live. No group is challenging petitions submitted by marijuana backers.

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