Senator Rusty Black's Legislative Column for the Week of Feb. 19, 2024

Friday, February 23, 2024

Feb. 23, 2024



This week, the Missouri Senate sent Senate Joint Resolutions 74, 48, 59, 61 & 83 to the Missouri House of Representatives for consideration. This resolution, upon voter approval, would change the process by which the state’s constitution is amended through the initiative petition process. Currently, 50 percent plus one is enough to change the constitution in Missouri. This resolution proposes a more stringent requirement: for any amendment to pass, it must garner approval from 50 percent plus one vote and receive more than 50 percent from five out of the state’s eight congressional districts. Senate Joint Resolution 74 will make sure that rural districts, like the 12th Senatorial District, will have a voice when changing the constitution. Groups attempting to change the constitution will have to get support outside of the Kansas City and St. Louis areas. I am proud to support this measure and will monitor its progress as it advances through the Missouri House of Representatives.


As SJR 74 was debated, the challenges of governing amidst an election year became evident. Misinformation and misconstrued stances were spread across social media and various online platforms after the vote. It was claimed that this legislation would allow non-citizens to vote in Missouri elections. I believe, according to our constitution, it is already unlawful for any non-citizen to participate in a Missouri election, stated in Article VIII, Section 2 of the Missouri Constitution. Furthermore, Article VIII, Section 3, subsection 15 of the Missouri Constitution, prohibits candidate committees, political party committees, campaign committees and political action committees from accepting contributions from non-US citizens or foreign governments. The inclusion of this language in another section of the constitution to preclude non-citizen voting was removed in order to take a vote on SJR 74 and protect the Missouri Constitution from out-of-state groups who are attempting to enshrine legal abortion up until the moment of birth. Senate Joint Resolution 74 was voted out of the Senate by a vote of 22 to 9. With that being said, if the Missouri House of Representatives were to add that language back in and SJR 74 would reaffirm that only citizens can vote in Missouri, I would be supportive.


I want to remind you Missouri’s process for how to select presidential candidates for each party. We no longer hold primary elections run through the Missouri secretary of state. Instead, it is up to the parties to organize their selection process. I encourage you to reach out to your party’s local coordinator, or check their website to find out how you can get involved in this important process.


On Thursday, Feb. 22, Sen. Black was able to participate
 in the annual “Drive Your Tractor to Work Day” with the


As always, please feel free to call, email or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is 573-751-1415, my email is and my mailing address is
 201 W. Capitol Ave., Room 331, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.