By a party-line vote, the Missouri Senate has passed a plan that would ask voters to make it tougher to change the state constitution.

The resolution would raise the threshold to change the constitution from a simple majority of votes cast to 57%. Initially, it required any such measure to receive 60% approval.

Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, explained how they came up with the revised percentage.

“We were trying to figure out, you know, four-sevenths it’s what we ended up doing now if we pass HJRs (or) SJRs,” he told members of the media. “If this were to go into the Constitution, for us to pass an HJR out here, would be 20 votes instead of 18. That’s four-sevenths. So, we were trying to find a way to apply that to all of the various places that we were aiming at and that’s just the number we settled on.”

Rowden added that he’s trying to make it harder to amend the Missouri Constitution.

“That is the underlying element, I think anybody, at least from my perspective, I can speak for myself, I’m not trying to close the door on stuff happening via the initiative petition process,” he explained. “You know, if you can get 58% of this state to say they agree with you, you probably deserve to have your thing happen. So, this is the right middle ground.”

State Sens. Karla May, D-St. Louis, and Barbara Washington, D-Kansas City, say Republicans are trying to silence voters.

The changes to the overall proposal require the House to reconsider it.

The Missouri Legislature has less than two weeks left in its regular session.

Click here for more information about House Joint Resolution 43.

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