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LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan House has approved legislation to prohibit a lawmaker who resigns or who has been expelled from office from running in the special election to fill the seat.

The bill passed 72-36 Thursday is a response to former Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat running in special elections to finish the remainder of their terms in 2015. He had resigned and she had been expelled after being accused of misusing state resources as they tried to cover up a sex scandal.

Courser, 43, of Lapeer in Michigan’s Thumb region, admitted sending an “outlandish” phony email to GOP activists and others in May of 2015, claiming he was caught with a male prostitute. The email was intended to make his extramarital affair with the 42-year-old Gamrat appear less believable if it were exposed by an anonymous blackmailer whom Courser said was demanding his resignation.

They lost the special elections.

The bill sponsor, Republican Rep. Aaron Miller of Sturgis, says it would eliminate a “loophole” and ensure a legislator’s resignation or expulsion is effective for the rest of the term.

Similar legislation won approval in the House in 2016 but died in the Senate.

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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