SB 5
Modifies the initiative and referendum process
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/17/2019 - Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection--SB 5-Sater, et al, with SCS
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
Emergency clause

Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 5 - This act modifies and creates several new provisions relating to the initiative and referendum process.

STANDARDIZED SIGNATURE SHEETS (Sections 116.030 to 116.130)

The act standardizes the use of signature sheets for purposes of initiative and referendum petitions by requiring the Secretary of State to prescribe forms for such sheets. Such sheets shall be made available in an electronic format and used for all initiative and referendum petitions. The format for such sheets is further modified by the act. This provision is substantially similar to SB 256 (2019) and provisions in HB 290 (2019), HB 496 (2019), HCB 10 (2019), SS/SCS/SB 893 (2018), and HCS/HB 1289 (2018).

Each signature sheet submitted to the Secretary of State must contain the signatures of voters from only one election authority and one congressional district. The election authority and congressional district from which the signatures come shall be noted on the front page of each sheet. Signatures from election authorities or congressional districts other than the one designated on the sheet shall not be counted. Furthermore, signatures in ink other than black or blue will not be counted.

PETITION CIRCULATOR REQUIREMENTS (Section 116.080 and 116.120)

The act repeals the requirement that each circulator register with the Secretary of State and instead requires that each circulator shall fully complete and sign the "Circulator's Affidavit" on each signature sheet delivered to the Secretary of State. The act further modifies the circulator's affidavit on the signature sheet. Signatures on a signature sheet where the circulator's affidavit has not been signed, completed, and notarized shall not be counted.

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 or court decision to be void or in violation of the United States Constitution, amend any federal law or the United States Constitution, 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.


If there are not enough signatures filed to meet the constitutional requirement, then the Secretary of State is not required to verify the voter registration status of the signers of the petition.

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 $25 fee for each page that the measure exceeds ten pages. Fees shall be refunded if the measure is certified for the ballot. This provision is substantially similar to a provision in HCB 10 (2019), HB 290 (2019), HB 1055 (2019), SS/SCS/SB 893 (2018), and HCS/HB 1289 (2018).

The Secretary of State shall additionally collect a fee of $.40 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.


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.


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.


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 substantially similar to HB 290 (2019) and similar to SS/SCS/SB 893 (2018) and HCS/HB 1289 (2018).

This act contains an emergency clause.



No Amendments Found.