October 31, 2014

House approves asking voters to approve right to raise children

The House has approved a measure that would ask voters whether the right of parents to raise children should be laid out in the state Constitution.

Representative Todd Richardson (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Todd Richardson (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

The proposal is sponsored by Representative Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff). He says it is based on principles already assumed to be law.

“The court discussion of that right has been a product of a general right to privacy, which has been the subject of much litigation and much uncertainty over just how far a right to privacy really goes. I think in this area, at least, I see the need to take it out of that realm and put it in the written Constitution rather than have it be the product or result of another right.”

Richardson says the language is written carefully to not interfere in protecting children who are being abused or neglected, and to continue to require that they receive an education.

“The same rules for educational neglect and laws that exists for educational neglect now will continue to apply.”

If passed by both chambers the resolution would put a ballot question to voters in November. It is scheduled to be heard by a Senate Committee on Monday, but it would require quick action to be passed with the legislative session set to end on Friday, May 17.

The proposal is HJR 26.