Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Michigan Senate votes to render wolf hunt ballot proposals moot

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Of the two anti-wolf hunt ballot proposals approved for the November general election, a total of zero would be relevant under a petition-initiated bill passed by the Michigan Senate today, according to The Detroit News. 

In a 23-10 vote, the News reports, the Senate approved the bill, which was initiated by a citizen-led petition, and sends it to the state House for consideration later this month. 

Michigan's Constitution allows for the Legislature to approve a citizen-petition-initiated bill without Gov. Rick Snyder's signature. That is why, as we previously reported, the ballot for the November election will be a mess

Way back in December of 2012, the Legislature approved a bill that designated wolves as a species that could be hunted. The state's Natural Resources Commission set a hunt for last fall. 

In response, a group immediately responded to the slated hunt and gathered enough signatures to ask voters in the November 2014 election to repeal the law that started the entire process, PA 520.

But, the Republican-led Legislature wasn't having any of that — so they passed a second bill, which allowed the Natural Resources Commission to designate wolves as a game species unilaterally, without legislative approval. Therefore, the first ballot referendum approved for the November 2014 ballot is nullified.

Opponents of the wolf hunt then gathered enough signatures for a referendum to overturn the second law. In response to that, wolf hunt proponents gathered enough signatures to ask the Legislature to approve the bill the Senate considered today, which would allow the wolf hunt to continue irregardless of the November general election's outcome.

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