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HELENA — Supporters of an initiative to make it harder for government to condemn private property for public use said Monday they had enough signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.

Sen. Joe Balyeat, R-Bozeman, state chairman of the Initiative 154 effort, said supporters had turned in 48,894 signatures statewide — far more than the 22,308 signatures needed to qualify I-154 for the ballot.

"We feel we've got way more than enough to meet the requirement," he said.

County elections officials now must verify the authenticity of the signatures and forward the totals to the secretary of state's office for a final tally.

Petitions for all ballot initiatives must be turned in by Friday to be considered for the November ballot.

I-154, one of three ballot measures bankrolled by the nonprofit group Montanans for Action, would make it more difficult for government to invoke eminent domain in condemning private property. Similar initiatives are being pushed in other states, Balyeat said.

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