Direct democracy sounds good in theory, but I think in practice could be trouble. California has ballot initiatives like this and have gotten the state into big trouble in the past (Prop 13 primarily, 3 strikes policy, etc.).
And if NCGA Republicans proposed it originally, I assume they did because it would further take away power from more progressive elements in the state. They know who votes and it would be a tool for conservatives in the long run.
We need a more representative and less partisan legislature.
I know that recently South Dakota voters passed an Anti-Corruption Act that dealt with Campagin finanaces and lobbyists but the SD Legislature vetoed the initiative.
I like the idea of having the ability for citizens to participate in Direct Democracy but if it isn't effective (see aforementioned issue) then I would rather it not be raised in the form of resubmission of previously attempted bills, but rather drafting of a new bill.