During this year’s legislative session, Missouri lawmakers rewrote a voter-passed law regulating dog breeders. They also tried to meet a demand of business groups to eliminate cost-of-living increases in the voter-approved state minimum wage.
And since voters imposed strict campaign finance limits in 1994, lawmakers have twice acted to change those limits, including eliminating them entirely in 2006.
The routine rewriting of voter initiatives would end if a new initiative makes the 2012 ballot and wins approval.
(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented Dale Doerhoff and Heidi Doerhoff Vollet with the July 2010 John Lilburne Award. Both Dale and Heidi are being honored this month for their exceptional advocacy in support of the First Amendment and citizen initiative rights in Missouri.
(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Citizens in Charge Foundation, a transpartisan national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, and a coalition of other citizen rights groups applauded Thursday’s decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District to protect the First Amendment privacy of sensitive campaign information in court proceedings related to ballot title language of citizen initiatives.
A Columbia group that opposes police use of Tasers says it has collected enough signatures for a November ballot initiative against the weapons. Organizers of People for a Taser-Free Columbia say they have collected roughly 4,000 voter signatures in less than two months. They plan to present the petitions to the city clerk on Wednesday morning.
Opponents of a ballot question to scrap Missouri’s non-partisan court plan say its backers have not gathered enough signatures to place it on the November ballot. The current system for selecting judges to the Missouri Supreme Court, Appeals courts and some circuit courts relies on judicial panels to select nominees, which are then chosen by the governor. The initiative would require elections for all of Missouri’s judges.
Four initiative petitions have made it through to the final step of approval before possibly going to voters on the November ballot. The intiative petition process started with about 100 possible petitions, which was narrowed down to 23 that the Secretary of State approved to be circulated in the state. The two constitutional amendments and two statutory amendments are all that remain, and Secretary of State spokesperson Laura Egerdal says all four of the petitions will be reviewed one last time.
Of the 45 states whose legislatures hold sessions in 2010, 27 of them have adjourned for the year, and 5 more will wrap up before the end of the month. Of the more than 80 bills dealing with the initiative and referendum process in various states, 51 of them would have reduced citizens’ initiative rights. Thanks to the work of activists in our coalitions, only 3 bills reducing citizen’s rights have passed and become law.
Missouri is poised to become the first state to put a new federal health insurance mandate to a vote of its residents. The Missouri House gave final approval Tuesday to a measure that will appear on the Aug. 3 ballot stating that people and employers cannot be compelled to have health insurance nor penalized for paying for health care out of their own pocketbooks.
A ballot initiative is using well-known names like Tony La Russa to help support its cause. St. Louis Cardinals manager, Tony La Russa, has teamed up with some politicians and veterinarians to put an end to puppy mills. La Russa and eight other members are now participants in the Puppy Mills Reform Committee. Created by the Missourians For the Protection of Dogs group, the committee aims to fight against and take a stand against Missouri’s current puppy mills.