SB 253 Modifies various provisions relating to elections
Sponsor: Justus
LR Number: 1242L.08C Fiscal Note: 1242-08
Committee: Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government
Last Action: 5/15/2009 - H Calendar S Bills for Third Reading w/HCS Journal Page:
Title: HCS SCS SB 253 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: Varies
House Handler: Diehl

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Current Bill Summary

HCS/SCS/SB 253 – This act modifies provisions relating to elections.

VACANCIES FOR CERTAIN STATEWIDE OFFICES: This act requires that any vacancy in the office of Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Auditor, United States Senator or State Treasurer be filled by special election, to be called by the Governor. Until a successor is appointed, the Governor will take charge of the office and conduct its business. (Sections 26.016, 27.015, 28.190, 29.280, 30.060, 30.080, 105.030, 105.040)

COUNTY ASSESSORS: This act requires county assessors to have resided in the county for six months prior to the election or appointment. (Section 53.010)

SURVEYORS: The county commission of a county of the third or fourth classification may appoint a surveyor following the deadline for filing for the office of surveyor if no qualified candidate files for the office in a general election in which the office would have been on the ballot. Notice of the election must have been published in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the county.

This provision is identical to a provision contained in SS/HCS/HB 481 (2009) (Section 60.010)

NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS: Current law provides that assessed costs on property divided into parcels within a neighborhood improvement district are recalculated and reassessed proportionally to each of the divided parcels. This act allows the city of county that formed the district sixty days after the recordation of proof of parcel division to reallocate the costs according to the method of assessment established in the ballot question or petition forming the district, otherwise the proportional method of assessment must be used. (Section 67.456)

COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS: This act modifies community improvement districts. Current law provides that the determination of ownership of property is made from the tax records maintained by the county clerk. This act changes the basis of the determination of ownership of property within the community improvement district to the real estate records of the recorder of deeds where the district is located.

Current law provides that every district is governed by a board of five to thirty directors, who are either owners of real property or of a business operating within the district. This act allows a district board to include up to five legally authorized representatives of any business operating within the district if there are fewer than five real property owners within a district.

This act specifies how a director's term will be determined when all directors receive the same number of votes regarding their term limits.

This act expands the powers that the district can exercise outside the district's boundaries to include: acquiring real and personal property; abating public nuisances; constructing, maintaining, or operating a variety of public improvements, including transportation; and permissively regulation municipal traffic.

Districts located in a blighted area may contract with any private property owner to acquire property owned or to be owned by a private property owner.

This act allows approval of a district sales tax to be obtained by an election within the district or, if no registered voters live within the district, by a unanimous petition of one hundred percent of the district's property owners verified by the board of directors.

This act allows a district to conduct an election pursuant to the Comprehensive Election Act of 1977 or with mail in ballots. (Sections 67.1401, 67.1421, 67.1451, 67.1461, 67.1521, 67.1545, 67.1551)

ELIMINATION OF PRIMARY ELECTIONS IN CERTAIN CITIES: This act allows certain third class cities to eliminate primary elections for the offices of mayor and city council. An individual must file a statement of intent with the city clerk, as described in the act. The eligible candidates must be printed on the ballot. (Section 78.090)

ETHICS COMMISSION: Current law allows the Ethics Commission to file a petition in the Cole County Circuit Court to request an additional ninety days for an investigation. This act repeals that provision. (Section 105.996)

ANDREW JACKSON VOTE RESTORATION ACT: Current law allows nonpartisan elections in certain political subdivisions and special districts to be canceled if the number of candidates filing for a position is equal to the number of positions available. This act repeals this provision and requires elections to always be held, except for townships and villages, which may cancel an election if the number of candidates filing for a position is equal to the number of positions available. (Section 115.124)

OVERSEAS VOTERS: This act requires the Secretary of State to establish a program and procedures to allow any overseas voter, as described in the act, to receive and cast an absentee ballot using the Internet. Phased implementation of the program must begin no later than June 30, 2010 and be fully completed by January 1, 2012. Ballot secrecy must be protected. (Section 115.278)

CANDIDACY FOR OFFICE AND COMMISSION OF FELONIES: This act prohibits an individual who has been found guilty of or pled guilty to a felony in Missouri, to any crime committed in another jurisdiction that would be a felony if committed in Missouri, or to any federal felony from qualifying as a candidate for elective public office, including political subdivisions. Crimes involving misconduct in public office whether classified as misdemeanors or felonies will also disqualify an individual. (section 115.350)

RECOUNT PROCEDURES: For certain elections, a candidate may request a recount in the case of a tie vote prior to using the procedures for resolving a tie vote. (Section 115.601)

PROHIBITION ON ELECTRONIC RECORDING DEVICES: This act makes the action of using an electronic recording device to record, photograph, copy, or transmit the content of a voted ballot to any person or destination not authorized to receive such information a class three election offense. (Section 115.635)

POLITICAL PARTY COMMITTEES: Each treasurer and deputy treasurer of a political party committee must reside in the district or county in which the committee sits. In addition, the account number of each account must be redacted prior to disclosing the statement to the public. (Section 130.021)

SCHOOL DISTRICT TAXES: This act modifies laws regarding property taxation by requiring tax rate rollbacks by school districts in reassessment years. For tax year 2009, political subdivisions are authorized to levy a property tax rate sufficient to generate as much revenue as was produced in the 2007 tax year excluding new construction and improvements as long as such rate does not exceed the greater of the rate in effect for the 1984 tax year or the most recent voter approved rate. The time line for the assessment, levy and appeal of property taxes is changed with regard to certain counties.

In addition, this act contains procedures for voters to petition for an election to lower the tax rate ceiling of a political subdivision when at least thirty-three percent of the registered voters within the taxing authority's boundaries sign the petition. If at least sixty-six percent of the votes cast are in favor of lowering the ceiling, the lowered tax rate ceiling will become effective.

This provision is similar to a provision also contained in CCS/SCS#2/HCS/HB 148 (2009). (Section 137.073)

SCHOOL BOARD VACANCIES FOR KANSAS CITY SCHOOL BOARD: A vacancy that occurs on the school board of the Kansas City School District will be filled by special election instead of by appointment by board members. There will be a special election if a vacancy occurs more than six months prior to the next general municipal election. The State Board of Education is responsible for ordering a special election when a vacancy occurs. If a vacancy occurs less than six months prior to the next general municipal election, the vacancy will be filled at the next general municipal election.

This provision is identical to a provision contained in HCS#2/SS/SB 291 (2009) and similar to a provision contained in HCS/SB 79 (2009). (Section 162.492)

INITIATIVE PETITION FOR OPEN ENROLLMENT: This act allows a school district, by majority vote, to place the issue of open enrollment by contract on the ballot for a primary or general election. The issue may also be placed on the ballot for a primary or general election upon a petition signed by ten percent of the registered voters in the district, or one hundred voters, whichever is greater. If a two-thirds majority of the electors voting in such an election vote in the affirmative, the district may offer open enrollment by contract, as described in the act. Private schools that meet certain conditions and public schools that are not in the district of residence may become contractors. (Section 162.1035)

PERCENTAGE VOTE REQUIREMENT: This act specifies procedures for determining the percentage vote requirement on tax measures enacted by popular vote that are currently stated as a fraction. (Section 238.202, Section 1)

TRANSPORTATION DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS: This act makes changes to the law governing transportation development districts. It adds a new definition of "owner" for purposes of transportation development districts. It also authorizes an alternative method by which property may be added to a district by the unanimous petition of the qualified voters within the area to be added, followed by public notice and a hearing by the district board. If a written objection signed by at least ten percent of the qualified voters within the district is filed within seven days after the public hearing, the issue must be submitted to the qualified voters within the proposed limits of the district.

This act also specifies the method by which the vote of a non-individual in a director election will be cast if no mechanism for that determination is specified in its organizational or operating documents.

This act repeals the requirement that directors be residents of the district.

Current law provides that a sales tax becomes effective on the first day of the month following its adoption. This act change the effective date to the first day of the month as designated by the board.

Current law provides that if a board wants to decrease the number of projects, it must submit the issue to the voters if the district. This act allows the board to take a majority vote to do so.

This act authorizes a district to begin district dissolution election proceedings after it has provided for the completion and funding of its project and has transferred ownership and control of the project to the Highways and Transportation Commission or a local transportation authority. A district is also authorized to begin district dissolution proceedings by petition to a circuit court after it has completed a project of provided for the completion and funding of its project and has transferred ownership and control of the project to the commission for a local transportation authority. (Sections 238.208, 238.216, 238.220, 238.235, 238.257,

This act also changes references in certain sections to make them gender-neutral. (Section 115.637)

This act contains an emergency clause for certain sections.