HJR 91 Modifies the initiative petition process

     Handler: Hegeman

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -


HCS/HJR 91 - This constitutional amendment, if approved by the voters, modifies the initiative petition process.

SIGNATURE GATHERING

Current law requires initiative petitions proposing constitutional amendments to be signed by 8% of the legal voters in 2/3 of the congressional districts and initiative petitions proposing laws to be signed by 5% of such voters. This constitutional amendment requires the same number of signatures to be gathered in all of the congressional districts. Additionally, only legal voters who are registered to vote in Missouri and are citizens of the United States may sign an initiative petition.

VOTER APPROVAL

The amendment provides that all constitutional amendments, whether proposed through the initiative or by the General Assembly, shall take effect when approved by 2/3 of the votes cast. An exception is made for an amendment to repeal all or part of an amendment that was approved prior to December 10, 2022, in which case the amendment may be approved by a simple majority.

SUBMISSION TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The amendment modifies the process for submitting an initiative petition to the people. Current law requires all initiative petitions to be submitted to the Secretary of State not later than 6 months prior to the general election. This amendment requires all initiative petitions proposing constitutional amendments to be reviewed by both houses of the General Assembly after the initiative petition has received the requisite number of signatures, but before it is placed on the ballot. The General Assembly shall have until the first Friday following the second Monday in May of the second regular session of the General Assembly prior to the general election to act on the initiative petition. The initiative petition shall be acted on in the same manner as a bill filed in the General Assembly.

If both houses of the General Assembly fail to pass the initiative petition as proposed or pass the initiative petition unamended, the sponsors may submit the original version to the Secretary of State as provided in this section.

If both houses of the General Assembly pass an identical amended version of the initiative petition, the sponsors may choose to submit either the original version or the amended version to the secretary of state as provided in this section.

The initiative petition shall be returned to its sponsors after 6:00 p.m. on the first Friday following the second Monday in May. The sponsors shall have until May thirtieth to submit the initiative petition to the secretary of state, which shall become law when approved by two-thirds of the votes cast thereon, and not otherwise.

SCOTT SVAGERA


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