Difference between revisions of "Laws governing the initiative process in Missouri"

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m (Text replace - "|1.5.1=Supermajority requirements |1.5.2=Litigation |1.5.3=Legislative tampering |1.5.4=Re-attempting an initiative" to "|1.5.1=Supermajority requirements |1.5.2=Effective date |1.5.3=Litigation |1.5.4=Legislative tampering |1.5.5=Re-attem)
m (Text replace - "fiscal note" to "fiscal note")
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:: ''See also: [[Ballot measure summary statement]]''
 
:: ''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.
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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 impact statement|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 impact statement|fiscal note]] summary. The title must be affixed to page of the petition.
  
 
*A number of official ballot titles can be found [http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2012petitions/12init_pet.asp#2012002 here.]
 
*A number of official ballot titles can be found [http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2012petitions/12init_pet.asp#2012002 here.]
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{{LawLinkParser|State=Missouri|Link=Fiscal impact statement}}
 
{{LawLinkParser|State=Missouri|Link=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.  
+
Once the State Auditor has received the petition, he or she prepares a [[fiscal impact statement|fiscal note]] and a [[fiscal impact statement|fiscal note]] summary (less than 50 words). The Attorney General reviews the [[fiscal impact statement|fiscal note]] and summary for fairness and legal content then either approves or rejects them. Once approved, the [[fiscal impact statement|fiscal note]] summary is included on petitions.  
  
 
:'''Note:''' On March 1, the Missouri Circuit Judge [[Judgepedia:Jon Beetem|Jon Beetem]] ruled that the state's fiscal review process for ballot measures violates the [[Missouri Constitution]]. The [[Article IV, Missouri Constitution#Section 13|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.<ref>[http://www.kmbc.com/r/30584274/detail.html ''KMBC,'' "Court Strikes Mo. Auditor's Power On Initiatives," March 1, 2012]</ref><ref>[http://www.ballot-access.org/2012/03/02/missouri-statewide-initiative-process-in-disarray-following-state-court-opinion/ ''Ballot Access News,'' "Missouri Statewide Initiative Process in Disarray, Following State Court Opinion," March 2, 2012]</ref>
 
:'''Note:''' On March 1, the Missouri Circuit Judge [[Judgepedia:Jon Beetem|Jon Beetem]] ruled that the state's fiscal review process for ballot measures violates the [[Missouri Constitution]]. The [[Article IV, Missouri Constitution#Section 13|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.<ref>[http://www.kmbc.com/r/30584274/detail.html ''KMBC,'' "Court Strikes Mo. Auditor's Power On Initiatives," March 1, 2012]</ref><ref>[http://www.ballot-access.org/2012/03/02/missouri-statewide-initiative-process-in-disarray-following-state-court-opinion/ ''Ballot Access News,'' "Missouri Statewide Initiative Process in Disarray, Following State Court Opinion," March 2, 2012]</ref>
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::''See also: [[Ballot title]]''
 
::''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 [[Signature certification|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.
+
In Missouri, the ballot title (which includes the summary and [[fiscal impact statement|fiscal note]] summary) are prepared by the Secretary of State, State Auditor, and Attorney General prior to signature collection. Once a measure has been [[Signature certification|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...).  
 
Measures are also assigned a generic name (Proposition A, Constitutional Amendment No. 1...).  

Revision as of 21:19, 12 June 2012

[edit]

Ballot law
BallotLaw final.png
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
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, 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]

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 most state's, 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

Pay-per-signature

See also: Pay-per-signature

Missouri does not ban pay-per-signature.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9]

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
BallotLaw final.png
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 2011
2.1.2 2010

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

Proposed changes by year

2011

See also: Changes in 2011 to laws governing ballot measures

Bills that have or might be introduced in the 2011 session of the Missouri General Assembly include:


2010

See also: Changes in 2010 to laws governing ballot measures

The following proposals were made during the 2009-2010 session of the Missouri General Assembly: