A proposed constitutional amendment limiting votes for county mergers to the counties impacted by the merger is being proposed by State Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, D-St. Louis.
Under Representative Bosley’s proposal, only St. Louis City and County would vote on a proposed merger there, rather than a statewide vote.
“That’s all that my bill does is it automatically goes with what is in the (state) Constitution currently, and it just expounds on it to say that this is exclusively the only way for a consolidation of St. Louis City and St. Louis County to happen,” Bosley says.
Vinita Park Mayor James McGee and Moline Acres Mayor Michele DeShay traveled to Jefferson City last week to testify for Bosley’s legislation. Those two municipalities are located in St. Louis County.
Bosley tells Missourinet that House Joint Resolution 37 is an issue of local control.
“And this should only be the localities who have the say so and who have the final say in what happens in their day-to-day lives,” says Bosley.
House General Laws Committee Chairman Dean Plocher, R-Town and Country, has a similar bill, and he and Bosley are working together on the issue.
No one testified against the bills during last week’s hearings, which drew a standing room-only audience, with residents literally lined up out the Capitol hearing room door.
While those testifying had different views, all of them said only St. Louis City and County residents should decide the issue, rather than a statewide vote. Several told lawmakers that merger organizers are “rich people trying to get their way.”
“The (state) Constitution is not for sale, the state of Missouri is not for sale,” Bosley says. “If it happens to St. Louis City and St. Louis County, guess who’s going to go next. They’re going to go to you.”
Meantime, in the Missouri Senate, State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, will present her bill Wednesday at noon to the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee, which is chaired by State Sen. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo.
Under Senator Nasheed’s Senate Joint Resolution 22, any statewide vote on consolidating St. Louis City and County would need to be approved by a majority of city and county voters before it could happen.
Senator Nasheed also plans a press conference for Wednesday morning at 11, to brief Capitol reporters about the proposal.
Click here to listen to reporter Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with State Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, D-St. Louis, which was recorded on March 27, 2019 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City: