SS/SCS/SB 893 - This act modifies and creates several new provisions relating to the initiative and referendum process.
STANDARDIZED FORMS (Section 116.045)
This act requires the Secretary of State to prescribe forms for the signature pages of initiative and referendum petitions. Such forms shall be made available in an electronic format and used for all initiative and referendum petitions.
FILING OF SAMPLE SHEETS (Sections 116.050 and 116.332)
This act requires that on each page of a proposed measure, the text of the measure shall be double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font with one inch margins. Furthermore, no initiative petition shall declare any federal law void or in violation of the United States Constitution, amend any federal law, or accomplish an act that the United States Constitution requires to be accomplished by the General Assembly.
The act stipulates that sample initiative sheets shall be filed no earlier than 12 weeks following a general election.
FILING FEES (Sections 116.050 and 116.100)
The Secretary of State is required to collect a fee of $500 for each petition sample sheet filed with its office, with an additional $10 fee for each page that the measure exceeds ten pages. Fees shall be refunded if the measure is certified for the ballot. Additionally, the Secretary of State shall collect a fee of $.80 per signature on a petition based on the minimum number of signatures constitutionally required if the circulator of the petition expects to be paid for his or her circulation.
SAMPLE BALLOTS (Sections 116.160 and 116.230)
Current law provides that the official summary statement of an initiative petition shall contain no more than 50 words, excluding articles. This act provides that the statement shall contain no more than 150 words total. Furthermore, the act requires each sample ballot prepared by the Secretary of State to contain the words "Shall the measure summarized be approved?" with options to vote yes or no.
DUTIES OF ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SECRETARY OF STATE (Sections 116.332 and 116.334)
Current law requires the Attorney General and the Secretary of State to each review an initiative petition only as to form and approve or reject the petition based on compliance with the procedural requirements of the law. This act specifies that both the Attorney General and the Secretary of State shall review each petition for compliance with statute regulating initiative petitions as well as Article III, Sections 50, 52(a), and 53 of the Missouri Constitution.
COURT-ORDERED CHANGES TO BALLOT TITLE (Section 116.334)
The act provides that in the event of a court-ordered change to the official ballot title, all signatures gathered prior to the change shall be invalidated.
PETITION PUBLICATIONS FUND AND SIGNATURE VERIFICATION FUND (Section 116.270 and 116.275)
The act creates two new funds: the Secretary of State's Petition Publications Fund and the Secretary of State's Signature Verification Fund. The purpose of the Petition Publications Fund is to pay any refunds to persons submitting petitions that become certified and to also pay publication expenses incurred in submitting statewide ballot measures to the voters. The purpose of the Signature Verification Fund is to make payments to local election authorities that have verified signatures for one or more petitions in the applicable two-year petition cycle pursuant to this act.
This act is similar to HCS/HB 1289 (2018).
This act has a delayed effective date of November 7, 2018.