Michigan Legislature races clock to finish lame-duck session

Michigan
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature is racing to pass bills in the final days of a contentious lame-duck session, with the fate of several GOP-backed bills hanging in the balance before Democrats take over top offices in January.

Legislation that would make it harder to propose ballot initiatives faced resistance Wednesday from conservatives involved in major ballot drives in recent decades. They call it unconstitutional and echo Democratic criticism that limiting signatures by geographic region would restrict people’s right to petition the government.

Another measure would remove legal protections from many of Michigan’s wetlands and other inland waterways. Lawmakers also are weighing a spending bill and whether to legalize online gambling.

While Republicans will continue to control the Legislature, Democrats are taking over the governor, attorney general and secretary of state offices.

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