Jim Hansen’s Capitol Report
For this report I wanted to highlight some of the issues that you will be seeing on the upcoming ballots.
The following are the summaries of different ballot issues passed by the General Assembly. As you know, there may be other ballot issues going before the voters based on the initiative petition process or at the local level.
As always, please feel free to contact my office with any questions, comments, or concerns you might have. I can be reached by phone at 573-751-4028 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Right to Keep and Bear Arms – SJR 36 is a proposed constitutional amendment which, if approved by voters, would reinforce the right of Missouri citizens to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories in defense of their families and to protect themselves, their homes, and their property. The amendment would also acknowledge these rights as inalienable, and obligate Missouri officials to uphold these liberties against infringement.
Authority to Restrict Funding – HJR 72 is a proposed constitutional amendment that will allow voters to decide if the Missouri General Assembly has the authority to override a governor’s decisions to restrict funding. The override process will be similar to the process the legislature follows to override a gubernatorial veto; it will require a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate for funding restrictions to be overturned.
Early Voting – HJR 90 is a proposed constitutional amendment that will allow voters to decide if Missouri should establish an early voting period. The early voting period would take place for a period of six days leading up to the Wednesday before an election. The period would not include Saturday or Sunday. The amendment would allow no-excuse absentee voting during that period of time, and in-person early voting would take place during the regular business hours of the local election authority. It would not impose any costs on the state, assuming no special election is required by the governor, nor would it impose any additional costs on local election authorities.
Protecting Electronic Information – SJR 27 is a proposed constitutional amendment designed to protect Missourians’ electronic information from unwarranted seizure. If approved by voters, the state constitution would protect email, cell phone data, and other electronic information in the same way it currently protects an individual’s papers, homes, and property from search or seizure without a warrant or probable cause.
Transportation Sales Tax – HJR 68 gives voters the opportunity to decide whether to pay more in sales tax in order to provide additional funding for Missouri’s roads and highways. The proposed constitutional amendment would raise the state sales tax by three quarters of a cent to generate approximately $534 million annually for maintenance and construction projects for the state’s transportation infrastructure. If approved by voters, the sales tax increase would take place in 2015 and be in effect for a period of 10 years.
Veterans Lottery Ticket – HJR 48 will give voters the opportunity to support the creation of a new lottery ticket to raise funds for veterans’ programs. If approved by voters, the Missouri Lottery would create a new ticket with proceeds from sales of the ticket to be deposited into the Veterans Commission Capital Improvement Trust Fund, which is used to fund construction and maintenance for veterans’ homes and cemeteries in the state.