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Associated Press, Published January 10 2013

Minn. Senate leader wants higher amendment bar

ST. PAUL — The majority leader in Minnesota's state Senate wants to make it tougher for the Legislature to put constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Sen. Tom Bakk introduced a bill Thursday that would require a vote of three-fifths of the Legislature in order to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the statewide ballot. Bakk says last fall's campaigns on the amendments to ban gay marriage and require a photo ID to vote were costly, inefficient and ugly.

Republicans who controlled the Legislature in 2011-2012 put both those amendments on the ballot over near-unanimous opposition from Democrats. Bakk says making amendments harder to put on the ballot would protect the constitution from political tampering, by making it nearly impossible to amend without bipartisan support.

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