A Missouri Republican priority that fell short of passing this legislative session is an effort to make it tougher to change the state constitution. House Joint Resolution 43 would have asked voters to raise the threshold to change the state constitution.

The proposal, sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Mike Henderson, R-Desloge, would have increased that figure from a simple majority of votes cast to 57%.

The House passed a negotiated version of the proposal, but the Senate did not. House Speaker Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, said the Senate’s failure to pass the measure has put Missouri’s pro-life state in jeopardy.

“As a Republican Party, who delivered conservative legislation, and that legislation stands up for life in Missouri. We are pro-life and if the Senate fails to take action on IP reform, I think the Senate – it should be held accountable for allowing abortion to return to Missouri. I think we all believe that an initiative petition will be brought forth to allow choice,” said Plocher. “I believe it will pass. I think abortion will be allowed because they’ll put ballot candy in and if you don’t pass IP reform it’ll be 50% plus one.”

Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said it’s not too late to get the job done.

“That’s an incomplete statement – that abortion stuff. If it’s on the ballot, it will be on the ballot in 2024. We have the ability to pass IP reform next year,” said Rowden. “If we could have gotten it done this year, that would have been fantastic and kind of check the box so we didn’t have to talk about it next year. But the fact that we didn’t pass it this year puts more pressure on us next year, there’s no doubt about it. But it does nothing to change the outcome relative to whether abortion is going to be enshrined in our Constitution or not.”

What does the Missouri House’s top Democrat have to say about Plocher’s statement?

“Yes, absolutely. It’s an opportunity for us to get our rights back,” said House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield. “If there’s if the initiative goes to the ballot box, but I think the most important piece of that discussion is exactly that, that the Republicans don’t like what the citizens continue to tell them to do, and they’re saying it out loud now.”

After a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year, Missouri immediately banned most abortions in the state, including cases of rape and incest.

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