Laws governing the initiative process in Missouri

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Contents
1 Laws and procedures
1.1 Crafting an initiative
1.1.1 Single-subject rule
1.1.2 Subject restrictions
1.1.3 Competing initiatives
1.2 Starting a petition
1.2.1 Applying to petition
1.2.2 Proposal review/approval
1.2.3 Petition summary
1.2.4 Fiscal review
1.3 Collecting signatures
1.3.1 Number required
1.3.2 Distribution requirements
1.3.3 Restrictions on circulators
1.3.4 Electronic signatures
1.3.5 Deadlines for collection
1.4 Getting on the ballot
1.4.1 Signature verification
1.4.2 Ballot title and summary
1.5 The election and beyond
1.5.1 Supermajority requirements
1.5.2 Effective date
1.5.3 Litigation
1.5.4 Legislative tampering
1.5.5 Re-attempting an initiative
1.6 Funding an initiative campaign
1.7 State initiative law
2 Changes in the law

Citizens of Missouri may initiate legislation as either a state statute or a constitutional amendment. In Missouri, citizens also have the power to repeal legislation via veto referendum. The Missouri General Assembly may also place measures on the ballot as legislatively-referred constitutional amendments or legislatively-referred state statutes with a majority vote.

Crafting an initiative

Of the 24 states that allow citizens to initiate legislation through the petition process, several states have adopted restrictions and regulations that limit the scope and content of proposed initiatives. These regulations may include laws that mandate that initiatives address only one topic, restrict the range of acceptable topics for proposed laws, prohibit unfunded mandates, and establish guidelines for adjudicating contradictory measures.

Single-subject rule

See also: Single-subject rule

Missouri has a single-subject rule for all ballot measures. In addition, the rule limits the number of sections of the constitution an amendment may revise. It states: "Petitions for constitutional amendments shall not contain more than one amended and revised article of this constitution, or one new article which shall not contain more than one subject and matters properly connected therewith."

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Section 50

Subject restrictions

See also: Subject restrictions (ballot measures)

No measure may be used for an unconstitutional purpose. Initiatives in Missouri must also specify a funding source sufficient to cover any expenditures they mandate.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Section 51

Competing initiatives

See also: Superseding initiative; "Poison pills"; List of Missouri ballot measures

Missouri law provides that in the event that two measures conflict, the measure with the most affirmative votes supersedes the other.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Section 51 & Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.320

Starting a petition

Each initiative and referendum state employs a different procedure for filing petition applications. Some states require preliminary signatures while others do not. In addition, several states review each proposed statute, verifying that the law conforms to the style and conventions of state law and recommending alterations to initiative proponents. Some of these of these states also review the law for more substantive considerations of content and consistency. Also, many states conduct a review of the ballot title and summary, and several states employ a fiscal review process which analyzes proposed laws to determine their impact on state finances.[1][2][3]

Applying to petition

See also: Approved for circulation

Prior to collecting signatures, proponents must file a draft of the petition form (including the text of the amendment/statute) with the Secretary of State. They must also designate one person to receive official notices regarding the measure. The secretary then forwards the petition to the Attorney General for review and the State Auditor for a fiscal analysis.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.180 & Section 116.332

Proposal review/approval

See also: Approved for circulation

Once the Attorney General has received the draft petition forms, he reviews the form of the petition and, along with his acceptance or rejection, send comments on the petition to the Secretary of State. The secretary then makes the final decision as to the approval or rejection of the petition in light of the Attorney General's opinion.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.332

Petition summary

See also: Ballot measure summary statement

Once a measure receives final approval, the Secretary of State drafts a (100 word or less) summary of the measure and sends it to the Attorney General for approval as to its fairness and accuracy. Once the fiscal note has also been approved, the secretary certified the official ballot title. In Missouri, the "ballot title," consists of the summary followed by the fiscal note summary. The title must be affixed to page of the petition.

  • A number of official ballot titles can be found here.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.180 & Section 116.334

Fiscal review

See also: Fiscal impact statement

Once the State Auditor has received the petition, he or she prepares a fiscal note and a fiscal note summary (less than 50 words). The Attorney General reviews the fiscal note and summary for fairness and legal content then either approves or rejects them. Once approved, the fiscal note summary is included on petitions.

Note: On March 1, 2012, the Missouri Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled that the state's fiscal review process for ballot measures violates the Missouri Constitution. The state constitution requires that, "No duty shall be imposed on [the state auditor] by law which is not related to the supervising and auditing of the receipt and expenditure of public funds." Since evaluating proposed measures concerns potential impacts, Beetem ruled that the task falls outside the auditor's supervisory role. In addition, he ordered the statement to be removed from the ballot title in question. A similar ruling in 1996 found that the Joint Committee on Legislative Research could not evaluate proposed initiatives.[4][5]
On July 31, 2012, after multiple appeals, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the state auditor does have the constitutional right to prepare the financial summaries of proposed citizen-initiated measures.
The ruling ended what was a tangled web in the state initiative process that began with a simple legal challenge to a potential 2012 tobacco tax initiative.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.175

Collecting signatures

Each initiative and referendum state employs a unique method of calculating the state's signature requirements. Some states mandate a certain fraction of registered voters while others base their calculation on those who actually voted in a preceding election. In addition, many states employ a distribution requirement, dictating where in the state these signatures must be collected. Beyond these overarching requirements, many states regulate the manner in which signatures may be collected and the timeline for collecting them.

Number required

See also: Missouri signature requirements

The signature requirement total is 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% of the gubernatorial vote for initiated statutes and 8% of the gubernatorial vote for constitutional amendments. Thus, the total number of signatures required will be less than 5% (or 8%) of the total votes cast for governor.

Until the next gubernatorial election, the minimum number of signatures required (counting the six lowest voting districts) is 157,788 for amendments and 98,618 for statutes.[6]

Congressional district 2012 gubernatorial vote Rank (among districts) Statute Amendment
1st 345,026 3 17,252 27,603
2nd 404,209 1 20,211 32,337
3rd 351,362 2 17,569 28,109
4th 325,375 4 16,269 26,030
5th 334,068 5 16,704 26,726
6th 338,577 6 16,929 27,087
7th 324,291 7 16,215 25,944
8th 304,975 8 15,249 24,398

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Section 50 & 53

Distribution requirements

See also: Distribution requirements

Missouri's distribution requirement, unlike that found in most states, affects the total number of signatures required to qualify for the ballot. Petitioners in Missouri must collect the required signatures from only 2/3 of the state's congressional districts. Petitioners are free to select which congressional districts they will focus on for the purpose of collecting signatures.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Section 50 & 53

Restrictions on circulators

Circulator requirements

See also: Petition circulator

In Missouri there are no laws regarding whether circulators are permitted to sign the petition that they are circulating. Each initiative petition contains a mandatory circulator affidavit. Circulators are required to sign these affidavits before a public notary and must swear to and sign a statement, under the penalty of law, that they personally witnessed every act of signing the petition.[7] Those circulating petitions are required to be at least 18 years of age and registered with the secretary of state, including paid status.[8] Once circulation is completed, the signatures are submitted to the secretary of state and all pages must be submitted at one time. The signature pages must be in order and numbered sequentially by county, except in counties that include multiple congressional districts, the signatures may be ordered and numbered using an alternate numbering scheme approved in writing by the secretary of state prior to submission of the petition.[9]

The following statutes are effective as of November 4, 2014:

  • Petition circulators must swear under the penalty of perjury that all statements made by him or her are true, that he or she has never been convicted of, found guilty of or pled guilty to any action regarding forgery.
  • Petition circulators must swear under the penalty of perjury that he or she is at least 18 years old.
  • Petition circulators must acknowledge whether or not he or she is being paid to circulate the petitions and by who.
  • Petition circulators must be registered with the secretary of state's office before he or she begins circulating petitions.
  • Any person who has been convicted of, found guilty of or pled guilty to an act involving forgery cannot qualify as a petition circulator.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes - 116.040, Missouri Revised Statutes - 116.080, Missouri Revised Statutes - 116.100 & Missouri HB 117

Pay-per-signature

See also: Pay-per-signature

Missouri does not ban pay-per-signature.[10]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Sections 49-53 & Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116

Out-of-state circulators

See also: Residency requirements for petition circulators

Missouri does not require that petition circulators reside in the state.[11]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.080

Badge requirements

See also: Badge requirements

Missouri does not employ a badge requirement. However, all circulators must register with the state and disclose to the state whether they are paid or volunteer.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.040 & Section 116.080

Electronic signatures

See also: Electronic petition signatures

Since electronic signatures are an emerging technology, the constitutionality of bans on e-signatures and the legality of e-signatures in states without bans is largely untested. Missouri law does mandate that signatures be collected in person.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.030

Deadlines for collection

See also: Petition drive deadlines; Circulation period

In Missouri, petitioners may begin collecting signatures once the official ballot title has been certified. Signature must be filed with the Secretary of State six months prior to the next biennial election, leaving 18 months to circulate petitions.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Sections 50 & Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.334

Getting on the ballot

Boxes of petitions filed at Missouri Secretary of State's office on May 2, 2010 Photo credit: Earl Glynn

Once signatures have been collected, state officials must verify that requirements are met and that fraudulent signatures are excluded. States generally employ a random sample process or a full verification of signatures. After verification, the issue must be prepared for the ballot. This often involves preparing a fiscal review and ballot summary.

Signature verification

See also: Signature certification

Once the signatures have been filed with the Secretary of State, the secretary copies the petition sheets and transmits them to county election authorities for verification. The secretary may choose whether the signatures are to be verified by random sample or actual verification.

If the random sample method is chosen, 5% of the signatures are selected at random for verification. If, projecting from the sample, 90%-110% of the required signatures are valid, the remaining signatures must be individually verified. If above or below, the petition is deemed sufficient or insufficient, respectively.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.120 ; Section 116.130 & Section 116.150

Ballot title and summary

See also: Ballot title

In Missouri, the ballot title (which includes the summary and fiscal note summary) are prepared by the Secretary of State, State Auditor, and Attorney General prior to signature collection. Once a measure has been certified, the secretary drafts "fair ballot language" explaining the meaning of a "yes" or a "no" vote. This language must be approved by the Attorney General for fairness and legal content. While it does not appear on the ballot, the language is posted at polling sites.

Measures are also assigned a generic name (Proposition A, Constitutional Amendment No. 1...).

  • A sample ballot can be found here.
  • Ballot titles and fair ballot language for several measures can be found here.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.025 ; Section 116.180 ; Section 116.210 ; Section 116.22 & Section 116.334

The election and beyond

Ballot measures face additional challenges beyond qualifying for the ballot and receiving a majority of the vote. Several states require ballot measures to get more than a simple majority. While some states mandate a 3/5 supermajority, others states set the margin differently. In addition, ballot measures may face legal challenge or modification by legislators. If a ballot measure does fail, some states limit how soon that initiative can be re-attempted.

Supermajority requirements

See also: Supermajority requirements

Ballot measures do not require a supermajority for passage in Missouri.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Section 51

Effective date

Missouri initiatives take effect as soon as they are approved by voters.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Section 52(b)

Litigation

See also: Ballot measure lawsuit news

Any citizen may challenge a ballot title or a decision regarding the sufficiency of petition signatures. Such challenges should be brought in the Cole County Circuit Court. Any court-order changes to ballot titles must be paid for by the state.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116, Section 116.190 ; Section 116.195 & Section 116.200

Legislative tampering

See also: Legislative tampering

The Missouri State Legislature may repeal or amend any statute approved by voters. To repeal or alter an amendment, they must must follow the ordinary legislative referral process. In order to place an amendment on the ballot, lawmakers in each chamber must pass the resolution with a majority vote. The amendment is then presented to voters.

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Section 52(b) & Article XII, Section 2(a)

Re-attempting an initiative

Missouri does not limit how soon an initiative can be re-attempted.[12]

DocumentIcon.jpg See law: Missouri Constitution, Article III, Sections 49-53 & Missouri Revised Statutes, Title IX, Chapter 116

Funding an initiative campaign

See also: Campaign finance requirements for Missouri ballot measures

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.

State initiative law

Article III, Sections 49-53 of the Missouri Constitution addresses initiative, referendum, and recall.

Title IX, Chapter 116 of the Missouri Code governs initiative, referendum, and recall.

External links

References


Ballot law
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State laws
Initiative law
Recall law
Statutory changes
Court cases
Lawsuit news
Ballot access rulings
Recent court cases
Petitioner access
Ballot title challenges
Superseding initiatives
Signature challenges
Laws governing
local ballot measures
Contents
1 Laws and procedures
2 Changes in the law
2.1 Proposed changes by year
2.1.1 2012
2.1.2 2011
2.1.3 2010

The following laws have been proposed which modify ballot measure law in Missouri.

Proposed changes by year

2014

See also: Changes in 2014 to laws governing ballot measures



The following bills were introduced in the Missouri State Legislature:

  1. Defeatedd HJR 88: Authorizes a constitutional amendment ballot measure seeking to prohibit the legislature from amending or repealing an initiative approved by voters except by referral to voters in a referendum.
  2. Defeatedd SB 631: Requires a preliminary five thousand sponsoring signatures of registered voters of Missouri in support of an initiative before the initiative petition can be cleared for circulation.
  3. Defeatedd SB 486: Makes changes to laws governing campaign finance for ballot measure supporters and opponents.
  4. Defeatedd SB 487: Makes changes to laws governing campaign finance for ballot measure supporters and opponents.
  5. Defeatedd SB 738: Makes changes to laws governing campaign finance for ballot measure supporters and opponents.


2013

See also: Changes in 2013 to laws governing ballot measures



The following bills were introduced in the Missouri State Legislature:

Approveda HB 117: Changes the laws regarding petition circulators and the duties of the Secretary of State regarding initiative and referendum petitions.

Defeatedd HB 661: Specifies that any issue to increase any tax, license, fee, or levy requiring voter approval under Article X of the Missouri Constitution must be placed on the ballot only on the general election day.

Defeatedd HJR 10: Proposes a constitutional amendment requiring a four-sevenths voter majority approval of an initiative petition related to crop production, livestock, or agriculture in order for it to take effect.

Defeatedd SB 135: Requires a newly formed Fair Ballot Commission to approve fair ballot language and ballot summary statements.

Defeatedd SB 2: Requires the Secretary of State to post the full text of an initiative or referendum on its website, along with sponsorship information.

2012

See also: Changes in 2012 to laws governing ballot measures



The following bills were introduced in the Missouri State Legislature:

Defeatedd HJR 39: Proposes a constitutional amendment limiting the legislature's power to repeal or amend initiated statutes. To repeal or amend an initiated statutes the proportion of legislators voting in favor of the change must meet or exceed the percentage of voters who voted in favor of the initiative.

Defeatedd HJR 52: Proposes a constitutional amendment requiring any initiative related to the harvesting of "bird, fish, game, wildlife, or forestry resources" to receive a two-thirds majority vote at the ballot box. Initiatives concerning the creation, repeal, or modification of sales taxes collected for conservation are exempt from the requirement.

Defeatedd HJR 47: On April 13, the Missouri House passed House Joint Resolution 47 which would lower the state's Missouri signature requirements but institute a distribution requirement. HJR 47 is a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment and must be approved by the Senate and the voters in order to take effect.[1]

Defeatedd SB 808: Implements recall elections for U.S. Senators.

The bill's official summary:

This act authorizes legal voters to petition for a recall election for United States senators. Petitions shall be signed by at least 8% of voters in each of 3/4 of the congressional districts, the total number of voters being based on the number of votes cast for the incumbent at the last preceding election in which he or she was elected.
If an election is held, opposing candidates are then nominated as if in an election to fill a vacancy and the incumbent shall continue to serve until the election results are declared. The election shall be held on the next day available for holding public elections that occurs at least 10 weeks after the Secretary of State verifies the petition. Senators are only subject to one recall per term.

2011

See also: Changes in 2011 to laws governing ballot measures



The following bills were introduced in the Missouri General Assembly:

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Missouri House Bill 521: Excerpt of bill description/summary: "This bill establishes a procedure by which an ambulance district board member may be recalled from office by the registered voters of the member's election district."

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Missouri House Bill 535: Excerpt of bill description/summary: "This bill changes the laws regarding the circulation of initiative and referendum petitions. In its main provisions, the bill: (1) Requires a petition circulator to be a citizen of the United States, to show proof of being a resident of Missouri, to register with the Secretary of State before collecting signatures, and to affirm that these requirements have been satisfied; (2) Specifies that a person must not qualify as a petition circulator if he or she has been convicted of, found guilty of, or pled guilty to any offense involving or considered forgery."

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Missouri House Bill 856: HB 865 would change a number state statutes governing the I&R process. Among other things, the bill would prevent any technical error, except those made by signers themselves, from invalidating a signature. In addition, the bill would require each page of a petition to include an affidavit indicating whether the circulator is being paid. The bill would make it a crime to deceive someone into signing a petition they did not intend to sign. Also, the bill would make it a crime to obstruct signature gathering by force or intimidation. The bill would also establish new rules for challenging ballot titles.

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Missouri House Joint Resolution 16: HJR 16 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would change Missouri's geographic distribution requirement. Currently, petitioners must collect signatures equaling 8% of the vote cast for governor in six of the state's nine US Congressional districts. Under the proposed amendment, petitioners would have to collect these signatures in all nine of the districts.[1] Citizens in Charge Foundation rating: Reduces initiative rights.

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Missouri House Joint Resolution 20: Bill description/summary: "Upon voter approval, this proposed constitutional amendment changes the laws regarding the repeal or modification by the General Assembly of a statutory provision of a referendum that was passed by voters. During the first general assembly session after the effective date of the statute, the General Assembly cannot repeal or modify a statutory provision of a referendum without a two-thirds majority vote; without a four-sevenths majority vote during the second session after the effective date of the statute; or without a simple majority vote after the third session of the General Assembly after the effective date of the statute."

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Missouri House Joint Resolution 21: Bill description/summary: "Upon voter approval, this proposed constitutional amendment changes the laws regarding the repeal or modification by the General Assembly of a statutory provision of a referendum that was passed by voters. During the first general assembly session after the effective date of the statute, the General Assembly cannot repeal or modify a statutory provision of a referendum without a two-thirds majority vote; without a four-sevenths majority vote during the second session after the effective date of the statute; or without a simple majority vote after the third session of the General Assembly after the effective date of the statute."

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Missouri House Joint Resolution 23: Bill description/summary: "Upon voter approval, this proposed constitutional amendment changes the requirements for submitting an initiative petition that proposes an amendment to the Missouri Constitution or a referendum petition to establish or amend a state law. Currently, an initiative petition must be signed by 8% of the legal voters in each of two-thirds of the state's Congressional districts before it can be placed on the ballot. The resolution requires 15% of the legal voters in each of the Congressional districts to sign the petition. The number of signatures required for an initiative petition or a referendum petition is also increased from 5% to 10% of those voters."

Right-facing-Arrow-icon.jpg Missouri Senate Joint Resolution 13: Bill description/summary: "Upon voter approval, petitions for a referendum shall be signed by 5% of the legal voters in each of the congressional districts in the state instead of by 5% of the legal voters in each of 2/3 of the districts. Similarly, petitions for initiatives proposing constitutional changes shall be signed by 8% of the legal voters in each of the congressional districts in the state instead of by 8% of the legal voters in each of 2/3 of the districts."


2010

See also: Changes in 2010 to laws governing ballot measures



The following bills were introduced in the Missouri General Assembly:

Defeatedd HB 1441: Would establish registration requirements for petition circulators. The bill was defeated without seeing a vote in either house of the General Assembly[1].

Defeatedd HB 1749: A initiative and referendum reform package that would ban pay per signature for circulators, prohibits circulators from being convicted of forgery, makes it a crime to sign a petition in another person's name, no longer count petition signatures before ballot titles are formed by the Missouri Secretary of State, and requiring fiscal impact statements for ballot measures. The bill was defeated without seeing a vote in either house of the General Assembly[2].

Defeatedd HB 1788: A bill that would ban out-of-state petition circulators, prohibits circulators from being convicted of forgery, bans multiple petition circulation by a circulator, bans pay-per-signature for circulators, requires circulators to file affidavits with the Missouri Secretary of State verifying their eligibility. The bill was approved by the Missouri House of Representatives on April 19, 2010 on a 130-24 vote. The bill was defeated in the Senate without a floor vote scheduled[3].

Defeatedd HB 1842: Would change counting requirements to determine if a tax measure passes the super-majority requirements. The bill was approved by the Missouri House of Representatives on March 24, 2010. The bill died in the Missouri State Senate despite the bill was approved out of Senate committee on April 26, 2010[4].

Defeatedd HB 2180: A bill that would change the verification procedures for initiative and referendum petitions including adding increased oversight of initiative applications by the Missouri State Auditor and Missouri Attorney General. The bill was defeated without seeing a vote in either house of the General Assembly[5].

Defeatedd HB 2465: Would allow citizens to recall Board of Directors members of Ambulance Districts. The bill was defeated without seeing a vote in either house of the General Assembly[6].

Defeatedd HJR 63: Would add a distribution requirement that in order to qualify an initiative that signatures must come from two-thirds of Missouri's congressional districts. The resolution was defeated without seeing a vote in either house of the General Assembly[7].

Defeatedd HJR 92: Would change minimum requirements for placing a signature on an initiative or referendum petition. The resolution was defeated without seeing a vote in either house of the General Assembly[8].

Defeatedd HJR 94: Would add a congressional district requirement in addition to meeting the minimum signature threshold. The resolution was defeated without seeing a vote in either house of the General Assembly[9].

Defeatedd SB 581: Would allow third class cities in Missouri to have advisory referendums with a simple majority requirement. The bill was approved by the Missouri Senate on a 29-2 vote with three Senators not voting on February 18, 2010. The bill was defeated in the Missouri House without seeing a floor vote[10].

Defeatedd SB 796: Would ban pay-per-signature of petition circulators. The bill was defeated without seeing a vote in either house of the General Assembly[11].

Defeatedd SB 818: Changes in how petitions for initiatives and referendums are verified and approved. The bill was defeated without seeing a vote in either house of the General Assembly[12].