The state Senate has endorsed a measure that would ask voters whether to make it more difficult to impeach a sitting Missouri governor, elected executive official or judge. Bill sponsor, Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, says the proposed change would let the Senate lead impeachment trials, instead of the House and a panel of judges. He says the measure would essentially confine impeachment to allegations of corruption or crime in office.
“I don’t think you will find historically a place where an elected official has been removed from office for something that didn’t happen while they were in office,” he says.
Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, opposes the bill because she says accusations prior to the accused person’s tenure in office should also be taken into account. She cites former Gov. Eric Greitens, who was accused of campaign finance violations and invasion of privacy before taking office. He resigned last June in response to the allegations.
Emery has been working on the proposal for several years and says allegations against Greitens did not influence his legislation.
“When I was in the Missouri House, someone brought it to my attention that our impeachment process was different than anyone else’s in the nation,” says Emery.
The legislation, Senate Bill 9, heads to the House. If the legislature passes the proposal, the measure would go to a statewide vote.
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