Missouri: Legislature passes initiative petition reforms

Wed, May 22 2013 — Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Missouri could start holding public hearings on proposed ballot measures next year under legislation heading to Gov. Jay Nixon for approval.

The state Legislature passed several initiative petition reforms in a bill before the session ended last week. In addition to the creation of public meetings on the proposals, the legislation sets up requirements so Missourians will be able to access information about petitions online, requires petition circulators to disclose whether they are being paid for signatures and by whom, and enhances penalties for petition signature fraud.

Missouri has seen a large jump in the use of citizen petitions in recent years ā€“ from 16 submitted to the secretary of state’s office in 2004 to 143 submitted last year.