Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City (Photo courtesy of Alisa Nelson, Missourinet)

The Missouri House of Representatives has passed today an effort to ask the state’s voters whether changes to the Missouri Constitution should pass with 60% of the vote instead of the current 50% minimum. The measure is a top priority this year for Republicans.

State Rep. Mike Henderson, R-Bonne Terre, is the sponsor of the resolution. He said the state Constitution should not be “an ever-expanding document.”

“Right now, it has become an ever-expanding document with over 60 additions since 1945 to the Constitution. Missouri has one of the larger constitutions in the country,” said Henderson. “Our Constitution really should not be for sale for outside groups who can throw $3 million to $5 million in the state of Missouri and many of these groups have no tie to our state to try to reimagine Missouri in their vision.”

State Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, has a problem with the ballot language starting off with something that is already in the Constitution – only U.S. citizens who are properly registered to vote in Missouri shall be considered legal voters.

“I don’t think it’s any secret, that’s what we call ballot candy – you put the first thing on the ballot, something that voters think, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s not already true. Well, I’ve got to vote for that,’” said Merideth.

Senate Minority Leader John Rizzo, D-Independence, pointed to recent Republican efforts that wouldn’t have been approved under the measure, which includes Cleaner Missouri, that overturned a voter-approved legislative redistricting plan. He also cites a Right to Farm bill.

The next stop for the proposal is the Senate. To see House Joint Resolution 43, click here.

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