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Lawmakers eye higher bar to constitutional changes

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota lawmakers who saw colleagues put several hot-button political issues on the statewide ballot in 2012 are now mulling proposals that would make it harder to do that again.

Several proposed constitutional amendments that would alter the constitutional amendment process itself are up Monday in the Senate State Government Committee.

Among them, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk wants to require a three-fifths majority vote of the Legislature in order to put any constitutional amendment on the November ballot. Republicans who controlled the Legislature in 2011 and 2012 sent two constitutional amendments to voters.

But the proposals, to ban gay marriage and to require a photo ID for voting, both failed. That sparked talk among some lawmakers that there should be a higher legislative bar to get amendments on the ballot.

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