Laws governing the initiative process in Missouri (archive)
The Missouri Constitution states:
The people reserve power to propose and enact or reject laws and amendments to the constitution by the initiative, independent of the general assembly, and also reserve power to approve or reject by referendum any act of the general assembly.
The veto power of the governor shall not extend to measures referred to the people. All elections on measures referred to the people shall be had at the general state elections, except when the general assembly shall order a special election. Any measure referred to the people shall take effect when approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon, and not otherwise. This section shall not be construed to deprive any member of the general assembly of the right to introduce any measure.
After forming their committee, proponents file the full text of their initiative with the Missouri Secretary of State (SOS), along with a sample petition form. Initiative language can be submitted at any time during the year.
The Secretary of State reviews the petition and also writes a ballot title and summary based on the full text. The SOS will take a suggested title and summary from proponents – but are not obligated to use it.
Once the SOS writes the title and summary, it is forwarded to the Missouri Attorney General for final approval. After the initiative is filed, the Missouri State Auditor writes a fiscal impact statement. Once the ballot title, summary and fiscal impact statement are written, proponents can begin circulating.
The Secretary of State, Attorney General and State Auditor are required to have everything completed within 30 days of when an initiative is filed. There is no statutory procedure for appealing the ballot title, ballot summary or fiscal impact statement. Proponents can, however, sue through normal legal channels.
- See also: Single-subject rule
Missouri has a single-subject rule.
- See also: Missouri signature requirements
The signature requirement totals for initiatives are based on the number of votes cast for governor in the state's most recent gubernatorial election. In 2/3 of Missouri's congressional districts, proponents must collect signatures equal to 5 percent of the gubernatorial vote for initiated statutes and 8 percent of the gubernatorial vote for constitutional amendments. Thus, the total number of signatures required is less than 5 percent or 8 percent of the total votes cast for governor.
Until the next gubernatorial election in November 2016, the minimum number of signatures required is 157,788 for amendments and 98,618 for statutes. These numbers were calculated through looking at voting totals in the six smallest congressional districts. If other districts are targeted for signature collection, the requirements will be higher.
|Congressional district||2012 gubernatorial vote||Rank (among districts)||Req. for Statutes||Req. for Amendments|
- See also: Petition drive deadlines, 2010
The signature-filing deadline in 2010 was Sunday, May 2.
- See also: Legislative tampering
Campaign finance requirements
The notable features of Missouri's campaign finance law includes:
- Missouri has two designations for groups in support or opposition of a ballot measure. Most are called Continuing Committees, while groups in support or opposition of judicial selection ballot measures are Campaign Committees.
- Missouri requires all committees to follow the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance reform law for broadcast advertisement disclaimers.
- Missouri bans committees from accepting out-of-state contributions unless the committee is registered in Missouri.
- Missouri requires immediate reporting of contributions of $5,000 or more within 48 hours of receipt to the Missouri Ethics Commission.
Bills that have or might be introduced in the 2011 session of the Missouri General Assembly include:
The following proposals were made during the 2009-2010 session of the Missouri General Assembly:
- Procedures for qualifying an initiative in Missouri
- List of Missouri ballot measures
- Missouri signature requirements
- Campaign finance requirements for Missouri ballot measures
State of Missouri
Jefferson City (capital)
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