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Plain Talk: Former Gov. Ed Schafer opposes Measure 2, but says initiated measure process needs reform

Schafer and I spoke of potential policy curatives ranging from finance reform for initiated measure campaigns to bans on paid signature collectors to limiting measures to one policy change each.

Schafer Ed.jpg
Ed Schafer
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Former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer does not support Measure 2.

He does not believe the Legislature should get a chance to overturn a ballot-box vote to enact a constitutional amendment.

Measure 2 would amend the state constitution to make it so that constitutional measures approved at the ballot box would also have to be approved by both Legislature houses. If one or both houses voted against the amendment, it would go back to a second statewide balloting allowing voters to overturn the Legislature's veto.

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Schafer says the Legislature ought not to get that shot to overturn the voters.

I disagree with Ed, and on this episode of Plain Talk, we debate the issue, and along the way, we did find one area of agreement.

Whatever happens with Measure 2 next month, it's clear the status quo in North Dakota's initiated measure process is broken. Schafer and I spoke of potential policy curatives ranging from finance reform for initiated measure campaigns to bans on paid signature collectors to limiting measures to one policy change each.

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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at rport@forumcomm.com .

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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