Missouri Prohibit Initiative Revision Amendment (2012)

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The Missouri Prohibit Initiative Revision Amendment did not appear on the November 2012 ballot in the state of Missouri as an initiated constitutional amendment.

The measure would have prohibited the repeal or amendment of a citizen initiative by the Missouri General Assembly. Exceptions include a three-fourths vote in both the House and the Senate, by vote of the people via referendum, or if a statute specifically grants the General Assembly the authority to repeal the measure via majority vote.[1]

Text of measure

The ballot title for the petition relating to citizen initiatives read:[2]

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prohibit the repeal or amendment by the General Assembly of a statute enacted by citizen initiative passed by the voters of Missouri, except by either a three-fourths vote of the members of each house or a vote of the people through a referendum or unless such statute explicitly provides that the general assembly may repeal or amend it by a majority vote of the members of each house?



The proposal is estimated to result in no direct costs or savings to state and local governmental entities.

Background

See also: Legislative tampering in Missouri

According to news reports, the proposed measure developed following amendments made to a 2010 ballot measure, also known as the "Puppy Mill Initiative," and attempts by the legislature to repeal the measure in its entirety.[3]

Lawmakers have also considered changes to the state's minimum wage following a 2006 initiative and in 2009 reversed a school-funding method from a 2008 casino-tax measure.[4]

Currently, the Missouri State Legislature can both repeal and amend initiated state statutes, but not initiated constitutional amendments. A simple majority is required to make changes.

Support

The measure was supported by a group called Your Vote Counts!. Rep. Scott Sifton serves as the spokespersonf or the group. "It should take more than a simple legislative majority to overturn the vote of millions of Missourians," said Sifton.[4]

Although the initiative effort was partially fueled by 2010's "puppy mill" initiative, supporters said that is only the most recent example of initiatives being overturned or changed by the legislature. Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, said, "Regardless of the individual issue that triggered action, the overall principle of protecting citizen-initiated statutes is very important, from a taxpayer's perspective."[5]

Supporters

Donors

The Humane Society of the United States contributed $93,000 to the campaign in mid-July 2011.[7][8]

Opposition

Some lawmakers argued that the proposed amendment was too strict and may cause problems in the future. House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller agreed that lawmakers must respect the will of the voters but argues that lawmakers should also have the flexibility to fix "any unintended consequences of initiatives." The three-fourths requirement set by the proposed amendment, would make that very difficult, he said.[5]

Path to the ballot

See also: Missouri signature requirements

To qualify for the ballot, the initiative required signatures from registered voters equal to 5% of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's election from six of the state's nine congressional districts. Signatures on behalf of all initiative petitions for the 2012 ballot were due to the secretary of state’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on May 6, 2012.

A total of eight versions were filed with the Missouri Secretary of State. Two were certified for petition circulation on May 16, 2011, while four were certified on June 21.[1][2] An additional two were certified on June 27.[9][10]

See also

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