Among the five ballot questions, Missouri voters will decide on Election Day is whether the Missouri National Guard should be its own state agency.
Known as Amendment 5, it would remove the Army and Air national guards from the authority of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, where it has been since 1974. Supporters say the Guard should be under the direct command of the governor, and moving it from DPS would shrink bureaucracy and create a clear chain of command. They also say it would have little to no fiscal impact, as the National Guard’s facilities already exist.
The legislation that became Amendment 5 was sponsored by State Representative Adam Schnelting, R-St. Charles, and he spoke about it during a recent episode of Show-Me Today:
Schnelting’s resolution passed the Missouri House overwhelmingly and the Missouri Senate unanimously earlier this year.
It also has the backing of the National Guard Association. Nick Humphrey, a member of the association, said during a Show-Me Today appearance that creating a separate state agency for the Guard is a matter of national security.
However, there is opposition to Amendment 5. The Missouri Democratic Party issued a written statement urging voters to say “no.”
“Voting yes for Amendment 5 would create a chain-of-command issue throughout the Missouri National Guard. Republicans claim to be the party of small government, but voting ‘yes’ for Amendment 5 would come with a cost. That’s why the fiscal note for this amendment has not been released to the public.”
In addition, State Representative Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis strongly criticized Amendment 5, saying it contains language redefining the mission of the National Guard – which in turn could have unintended consequences. He talked about those consequences on Show-Me Today:
The issue will be decided November 8th.
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