State Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, hopes to bring back a proposal in 2024 that would make it tougher to pass initiative petitions.
Eigel, a Republican running for governor, says in addition to the simple 50% plus one simple majority, he is proposing a second standard that needs to be met.
“A concurrent majority, meaning that a majority of the state’s congressional districts must also approve the measure in addition to the basic 50% plus one standard,” Eigel said. “That means, we have eight congressional districts, five out of the eight congressional districts will have to approve the measure individually or it won’t go into effect.”
Under current law, it takes a simple majority to change the state constitution. Some failed proposals last spring wanted to increase the requirement to 60%.
“What would the effect of that would have is that, right now, it takes actually a very localized majorities, St. Louis, Kansas City, to make changes to our constitution,” he said. “This will require a much more broad consensus in the state that includes interest, not just in our urban and suburban areas, but our rural areas as well.”
A simple 50% plus one standard was used to approve Amendment 3 in 2022, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state.
“We should have gotten this done last year, but, you know, Republicans, even though we have one of the longest sessions anywhere in the country, of any state in the country, our leadership found a way to make sure that this didn’t get done,” Eigel said. “So, it’s very frustrating.”
He thinks initiative petition changes will be one of the first things lawmakers do in the upcoming legislative session which begins on Jan. 3.
Copyright 2023, Missourinet.