Missouri Lawmakers Act Fast on Citizen Access to the Ballot
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) Missouri lawmakers moved quickly to pass more restrictions on amending the state constitution during one of the session's first hearings Tuesday.
Republican legislative leaders in the House and Senate have cited cracking down on constitutional amendments as a top priority for the session, arguing that it's now too easy to enshrine policies in the constitution.
Currently, signatures from 8% of voters in six of Missouris eight congressional districts are needed to put a proposed constitutional change on the ballot for a statewide vote. It takes 51% of votes to amend the constitution.
Many of the proposals debated Tuesday would make it harder for citizens to put measures to a public vote and increase the percentage of votes needed to pass citizen-led constitutional amendments.
A bill by Rep. Mike Henderson, a Republican from Desloge, would require petitioners to collect signatures from 10% of voters in all eight congressional districts to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot and would require a two-thirds majority to enact such measures.
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