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Term limits measure approved for signature-gathering

July 17, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A change to the state constitution that would place term limits on the governor and members of the Legislature is a step closer to bringing the matter to a public vote.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger on Friday announced he approved for circulation a petition for the proposed measure.

Supporters have one year to gather 31,164 signatures to put the measure to voters next year.

The initiative would add a new article to the state constitution, effective Jan. 1, 2023, imposing term limits of eight cumulative years each in the House and Senate. The governor could not be elected more than twice. Term limits would not be retroactive, which means the service of current officeholders would not count against them.

The measure’s 42-member sponsoring committee includes several state lawmakers linked to the ultraconservative Bastiat Caucus, as well as multiple new GOP district chairmen, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

Citizen initiatives allow residents to bypass lawmakers and get proposed state laws and constitutional amendments on ballots if they gather enough signatures from voters.