A judge has heard the arguments of attorneys who say the language of two issues on the August ballot should be struck down, and attorneys who say it’s too late for that.
The challenges are against Constitutional Amendment 5 that backers say would strengthen the right to keep and bear arms, and Constitutional Amendment 7 that would raise the sales tax by three-fourths of a cent for ten years to pay for transportation projects. Attorneys in both cases say the ballot summaries offered by the legislature don’t adequately explain key aspects of them.
Opponents of the transportation tax say the financial summary has too low an estimate of what the tax would generate and leaves out that it would also raise the use tax. Opponents of the firearms amendment say it leaves out that it would remove restrictions on concealed guns and would require greater legal scrutiny of gun laws.
If Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem throws out the summaries, he could write new ones. If he does not the issues might not move forward because it would fall the the legislature to write new ones, and it’s not in session.
Attorneys arguing for the state and the sponsors of those ballot issues argue that the court has no authority to act because absentee voting has already started, and have asked for the lawsuits to be dismissed.
Judge Beetem has not said when he will issue rulings, which could be appealed.