Earlier this summer, the City Council in Springfield, Missouri, hurriedly placed two charter amendments on yesterday’s Aug. 7 primary election ballot hoping to make it far more difficult to petition a citizen initiative onto the local ballot. Voters defeated one of the measures, Charter Amendment 2, by a 51 to 49 percent vote, but passed the other, Charter Amendment 3, by 52 to 48 percent.

When Safer Missouri Citizens Coalition called for a petition ceremony for its local control ballot initiative on Monday, they were met with citizens demanding real local control.

The group, sponsored by billionaire financier Rex Sinquefield, had promised the support of more civic leaders and elected officials than it was able to deliver.

Read more at The St. Louis American.

Two Missouri organizations are working together to push ballot measures seeking to cap payday loan interest rates and increase the state minimum wage.
Missourians for Responsible Lending and Give Missourians A Raise kicked off the two initiative petition campaigns at a joint event Saturday at the Boone County Commission Chambers. The group Grass Roots Organizing put on the event

Read more at CBS News 10 St. Louis.

Groups on either side of the proposed E-Verify ordinance have begun spending money to woo voters, with opponents so far outspending supporters more than 10-to-1.

In a Jan. 22 email sent to Springfield City Council and others, Grupo Latinoamericano President Yolanda Lorge said opponents of the ballot measure had spent about $20,000, mostly on printed material and a phone campaign.

Read more at News Leader.

Missouri’s minimum wage workers could be getting a $1 an hour raise next year if a ballot initiative sponsored by the Give Missourians A Raise coalition makes it to the November ballot. The coalition needs to collect about 200,000 registered voters’ signatures between now and May for the initiative to qualify.
Currently, Missouri’s minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.
“About 290,000 Missouri workers would see an immediate raise if the initiative passes in November,” Montague Simmons told the People’s World. Simmons is the St. Louis minimum wage initiative coordinator for Missouri Jobs with Justice, a key member of the coalition.

While many state legislators shy from the issue, an outside group plans to file an initiative petition this month to place a so-called “right to work” constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot.
Greg Johns, vice president of Missourians for Right to Work,’ intends to file the petition with the secretary of state’s office some time this month, according to sources familiar with the process.

Read more at PoliticMo.

Time and time again, Independence City Council members say they’ve heard their constituents express concern for public safety and for an increased presence of police officers. Come April 3, voters will say whether they are willing to pay extra – as property owners – for that sense of security.

Read the story from the Blue Springs Examiner

In February, Springfield voters will decide if businesses must use the federal E-Verify database to check whether potential employees can work legally in the United States.  Now, we know what voters will read on the ballot for the controversial proposed ordinance. With a deadline of Tuesday to get it on the February ballot, council members voted and passed one version of the ballot language for the E-Verify issue.  They had three possible versions of ballot language to consider.  The council decided, at the advice of legal counsel, that the first version was not a good choice because of a legal issue with the language involving who would collect fines.

Read the story from KY 3

A petition now circulating in Missouri would place a constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot to legalize marijuana for those 21 or older. The “Show-Me Cannabis Initiative” calls for a sweeping repeal of criminal prohibitions against marijuana in Missouri.

Read the story from West End Word

A battle looms over how much lenders can charge for payday loans in Missouri ”” and it promises to be an expensive one. A coalition of religious groups and civic organizations have begun collecting signatures to get a measure on the state’s 2012 ballot that would limit the cost of short-term loans. Voters would then have the option of capping annual interest rates on those loans ”” which would include payday and car title loans ”” at 36 percent.

Read the story from the St. Louis Post Dispatch

The St. Louis Police Officers’ Association now is supporting a ballot initiative to return control of the police department to the city from the state. The group announced today that it reached a compromise with Mayor Francis Slay and representatives of A Safer Missouri, which is funded by retired investor Rex Sinquefield, to withdraw amendments filed in March that would have placed the question of local control of the St. Louis and Kansas City police departments before voters next year.

Read the story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Missouri voters could be asked next year to raise the state’s minimum wage to $8.25. The secretary of state’s office on Tuesday approved the summaries on two initiative petitions, meaning proponents can begin collecting signatures to get the measures on the 2012 ballot. Missouri’s minimum wage currently matches the federal requirement of $7.25 an hour.

Read the story from Bloomberg Businessweek

Advocates can begin collecting signatures for two proposed Missouri ballot measures that would legalize marijuana. The secretary of state’s office said Monday the initiative petitions have been approved for circulation to get them on the 2012 ballot.

Read the story from Saint Louis Today

A lot has happened in Missouri over the last few years regarding its citizen initiative process. The will of the voters was overturned by a vote in the Legislature, a campaign sprung up to change the law in order to protect citizen passed ballot initiatives, and now…a Republican state representative is proposing additional changes to the way Missouri handles ballot initiatives:

Less than a year after Missouri lawmakers overrode the voter ballot decision to pass Proposition B, regarding dog-breeder regulations; Rep. Shane Schoeller, R-Willard, proposed a package of election changes which includes a change in the margin by which lawmakers could override voter decisions in the future. Schoeller is calling his proposed package of changes the “Missouri Fair Elections Act.”

Read the story from CBS St. Louis