The Missouri House and Senate are not on the same page about a plan that would make it tougher to change the state constitution. The proposal would require a simple majority plus a majority of votes cast from most of Missouri’s U.S. House districts.

What’s the problem? Ballot candy. That is, provisions which are meant to be attractive to Republican voters, such as banning non-citizens from voting.

After about a 50-hour Senate Democratic impasse this week, the upper chamber voted in favor of negotiating with the House on the proposal. The House voted Thursday against making a deal with the Senate on the top Republican priority.

Rep. Alex Riley, R-Springfield, said he stands by the House’s work on the proposal.

“As we all know, the Senate has been a mess this year, and they don’t seem to be in a spot where they have any consensus on what they would want a package coming out of conference to be. So, to me, it seems a little premature to even request a conference committee when the Senate is not all on the same page,” he said.

Some Republican Representatives voiced frustration about the Senate failing to pass similar measures over the past several years, including Rep. Chris Dinkins, R-Lesterville, and Ed Lewis, R-Moberly.

Rep. Joe Adams, D-University City, called the GOP measure “an abomination.”

“They (Republicans) were trying to turn the voters in Kansas City, Missouri, St. Louis, Columbia, Springfield, into three fifths of a voter. It’s probably less than that,” said Adams.

Rep. David Tyson Smith, D-Columbia, said an anti-immigrant sentiment has been pervasive in Missouri and nationwide.

“Especially what we’ve seen, how to the Trump White House with his build the wall, kind of this fear of people coming over, fear of immigrants, people of Latin descent, and that this is playing right into that bigotry. I think we have to be careful because it’s not just ballot candy- it’s a type of ballot candy. These dog whistles, if you will, to certain types of people,” he said.

So now what? With Friday’s 6 p.m. legislative deadline looming, the chances of passing the plan are not impossible in this often unpredictable environment, but they appear to be very slim.

Copyright © 2024, Missourinet