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Republican-controlled legislatures in almost half the states are advancing bills that would make it more difficult to pass citizen-initiated ballot measures — a backlash to the success progressive groups had in using the initiative process to advance liberal policy priorities.

In Arizona, voters have in recent years approved initiatives legalizing marijuana, raising taxes on those who make more than $250,000 a year and raising the minimum wage.

Now, GOP legislators are pushing to raise the threshold of votes an initiative needs to win to 60 percent for most initiatives, or two-thirds of the vote for measures that propose new or higher taxes..

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