SWMO senator files legislation changing how initiative petitions are handled

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A Southwest Missouri senator files legislation that would change how initiative petitions are handled in the Show Me State.

Senator David Sater from Cassville says the number of initiative petitions on last fall’s November ballot, including the marijuana questions, prompted the need for his legislation. If passed, Senate Bill Five would do a number of things, including expanding the summary of the initiative petition from a maximum of 50 words to a maximum of 150 words.

It would also instruct the Secretary of State to prepare sample ballots that say “shall the measure summarized be approved,” with options to vote yes or no. Sater says because of the impact these petitions can have, the process to get them on the ballot needs to be modified.

“I’ve always been concerned that changing the Missouri constitution is a serious matter, and just having fifty percent of the vote to pass an initiative petition which changes the constitution, and we cannot, of course, do anything about that, I think it needs to be a higher threshold,” says Senator David Sater.

The bill has been assigned to the Senate committee on local government and elections. Sater says he expects the bill to move through the Senate and on to the House for further consideration.

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