Legislative Update Feb 10, 2017

What has happened?

February 6 Right to Work is signed at 9:30

February 6 We fight back. Citizen’s Veto filed at noon.

On February 6th the Missouri AFL-CIO and The NAACP of Missouri filed a Citizen’s Veto with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.

What is the Citizen’s Veto?

From the Missouri State Constitution:

Article III 
LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT

Reservation of power to enact and reject laws.

Section 49. 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, except as hereinafter provided.

Source: Const of 1875, Art. IV, § 57 (Amended November 3, 1908).

Initiative petitions--signatures required--form and procedure.

Section 50. Initiative petitions proposing amendments to the constitution shall be signed by eight percent of the legal voters in each of two-thirds of the congressional districts in the state, and petitions proposing laws shall be signed by five percent of such voters. Every such petition shall be filed with the secretary of state not less than six months before the election and shall contain an enacting clause and the full text of the measure. 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, and the enacting clause thereof shall be "Be it resolved by the people of the state of Missouri that the Constitution be amended:". Petitions for laws shall contain not more than one subject which shall be expressed clearly in the title, and the enacting clause thereof shall be "Be it enacted by the people of the state of Missouri:".

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. IV, § 57.

èReferendum--exceptions--procedure.

Section 52(a). A referendum may be ordered (except as to laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, and laws making appropriations for the current expenses of the state government, for the maintenance of state institutions and for the support of public schools) either by petitions signed by five percent of the legal voters in each of two-thirds of the congressional districts in the state, or by the general assembly, as other bills are enacted. Referendum petitions shall be filed with the secretary of state not more than ninety days after the final adjournment of the session of the general assembly which passed the bill on which the referendum is demanded.

Source: Const. of 1875, Art. IV, § 57.

The Secretary of State has no less than 15 and no more than 30 days to “approve” the ballot language.

According to research complied by the Missouri Legislative Academy, 26 referenda have been called.  Citizens have rejected the legislature's actions 24 of 26 times. The only two times the citizens did not overturn the legislature were both in the 1920's.[1]

What happens next?

Once the petition is approved, we will have until August 27, 2017 to collect and submit signatures to the SOS office.  Once the signatures are verified, the law is “suspended” until citizens can vote on the referendum.

We will need to gather about 140,000 signatures statewide in 6 out of 8 congressional districts.

 

What can we do now?

We need to start identifying potential volunteers.

Collecting signatures is a laborious and expensive proposition.


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