SB 568 - Currently, when a vacancy for the office of United States Senator from Missouri exists, the Governor has the power to appoint an individual to fill the vacancy until a successor is elected according to law. This act changes that procedure so that the Governor is required to issue a writ for a special election to fill such vacancy.
Current law states that the summary statement and fiscal note summary of a proposed constitutional amendment shall be a true and impartial statement that is neither intentionally argumentative nor prejudicial. This act changes that standard so that such summaries shall put voters on notice of the subject of the measure in language that is not willfully deceptive. Current law also states that any petition challenging the ballot title of a constitutional amendment submitted to the voters by the General Assembly or initiative petition must state why the ballot title is "insufficient or unfair." This act changes that standard to "willfully deceptive."
The act provides that the Speaker of the House and the Senate Pro Tem shall be entitled to outside legal counsel if they believe, in their sole discretion, that the Attorney General has declined to represent their interests in challenges to official ballot titles. The costs for obtaining outside counsel shall be paid from the legal expense fund.
This provision is similar to a provision contained within the perfected version of SS #2/SB 475 (2015).
Currently, actions challenging the official ballot title or the fiscal note of an initiative or referendum are required to be finally adjudicated within 180 days of filing. This act provides that such actions must also be fully adjudicated more than fifty-six days prior to the election in which the measure shall appear or such action shall be extinguished.
This provision is identical to a provision contained within HB 65 (2015) as well as CCS #2/HCS/SB 104 (2015) which was Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed.