November 24, 2014

From 100 to 23 to 4; initiative petitions are one step from Nov. ballot

Four initiative petitions have made it through to the final step of approval before possibly going to voters on the November ballot.

The intiative petition process started with about 100 possible petitions, which was narrowed down to 23 that the Secretary of State approved to be circulated in the state. The two constitutional amendments and two statutory amendments are all that remain, and Secretary of State spokesperson Laura Egerdal says all four of the petitions will be reviewed one last time.

“It’s important that every single signature gets verified to make sure it was a registered voter and they were signing in their correct Congressional District. That work is actually done by the local election authorities around the state of Missouri,” Egerdal said.

For a change to a Missouri statute, a petition must be signed by a number of valid, registered voters equal to 5% of the votes cast in the 2008 Governor’s election from six of the state’s nine congressional districts. For petitions for a change to the Missouri Constitution that figure is 8%.

“That ends up being over 90,000 signatures for a statutory amendment. To change the Constitution, you have to get close to 150,000 signatures,” Egerdal said.

One statutory amendment would place restrictions on how cities could use earnings taxes, and force them to allow citizens to vote to approve the taxes. The other statutory amendment is the so-called “puppy mill” initiative that would place restrictions on dog breeding.

Realtors are pushing a Constitutional Amendment to prevent government entities from creating new taxes on the sale of homes. The other Constitutional Amendment aims to change the system to make judges elected rather an appointed, and reduce their term limits.

Egerdal says the Secretary of State will announce if the initiatives got enough verified signatures in August, which determines whether they’ll be on the statewide November ballot

AUDIO: Ryan Famuliner reports (:63 mp3)