DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s free-wheeling constitutional amendment process is under attack again by state lawmakers from both parties.

The state Senate on Friday voted 27-8 to give preliminary approval to a measure to make it harder to change Colorado’s constitution.

Colorado has the nation’s lowest signature threshold to petition an amendment onto ballots, accounting for the state’s small population. The current requirement is about 86,000 signatures.

Policy-makers say Colorado’s constitution had been amended 81 times in the last 44 years and is riddled with confusing amendments.

If the measure passes the Senate and then the House, as appears likely, the change would head to Colorado voters next year. Voters rejected a similar measure in 2008, and some opponents say voters don’t like the idea of making it harder to change the constitution.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)