The Joplin City Council has snuffed out a proposal to place a workplace smoking ban on an election ballot. Representatives from Smoke-Free Joplin said they might launch an initiative petition drive in response to the council’s action. The group wants to ban of smoking in all workplaces, including restaurants, bars and private clubs.

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A group looking to place a citywide smoking ban on the April ballot in Cape Girardeau has cleared a significant hurdle, with city clerk Gayle Conrad confirming Tuesday the petition initiative has more than enough legitimate signatures to do so. The Cape Girardeau County Clerk’s office verified 2,571 of the 2,678 signatures collected by Breathe Easy Cape Girardeau, which wants to ban smoking in all city bars, restaurants and other indoor public places. Conrad said 2,441 is the number of signatures required to put the issue on the ballot, which is about 10 percent of voters registered for the April election.

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Three St. Louis-area hotels failed to stop two cities from placing propositions to levy hotel taxes on the Nov. 2 ballot. The Missouri Court of Appeals denied the hotel’s request to block the ballot initiatives. Richmond Heights and Clayton both approved ordinances in August asking voters if they want the cities to levy a 5 percent hotel tax in order to raise funds to promote tourism.

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The Missouri Libertarian Party has issued endorsements for the five statewide ballot measures.

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Missouri voters likely will get their chance to vote in November on an initiative to put limits on state earnings taxes, despite an attempt to block it in court. Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem on Monday refused to strike the measure from the ballot after a Kansas City lawsuit claimed it violated the state constitution and should be removed. In a two-page ruling, Beetem rejected several claims while putting off other allegations raised by the lawsuit until after the November election — if voters approve the initiative.

The fate of a ballot measure that would curtail the ability of Missouri cities to enact an earnings tax now rests in the hands of a Cole County judge. Cole County Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem heard arguments in the case Friday, concerning Proposition A. The earnings tax exists in only two cities ”” St. Louis and Kansas City. The cities levy a 1 percent tax on the income of businesses and individuals working or residing in the city.

A judge on Tuesday ordered a real estate tax initiative to appear on Missouri’s November ballot, concluding the measure’s supporters submitted enough valid signatures from voters. Earlier this month the Missouri secretary of state’s office concluded that too few signatures were submitted for the initiative to appear. Cole County Circuit Judge Paul Wilson effectively overruled that and ordered election officials to place the measure on the ballot.

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Last night Missouri voters went to the polls and passed Proposition C by a nearly 3 to 1 margin. Prop C blocks the federal government from mandating that Missouri citizens purchase some form of healthcare as outlined in the healthcare bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama earlier this year:

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge, a national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, along with U.S. Term Limits, began running a television ad in Springfield, Missouri, blasting Rep. Mike Parson for his attempts in the Missouri Legislature to pass several measures that would “gut” term limits, unconstitutionally block citizens from petitioning to place issues on the ballot and make it impossible for citizens to speak with most legislators without first registering as lobbyists.

A Cole County judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to stop an Aug. 3 ballot issue vote offering Missourians a chance to express their position on the nation’s new health care act. Judge Paul C. Wilson ruled late Friday against Jefferson City attorney Chip Gentry’s argument that the ballot issue exceeds its original purpose and does not contain a clear title focused on a single subject.

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The Lilburne Award for the month of July has been given to two litigators from Missouri, Dale Doerhoff and Heidi Doerhoff Vollet. Both were honored for their outstanding advocacy on behalf of the Humane Society of Missouri in a court case dealing with the state’s initiative & referendum process. For more information about the award recipients and case check out the press release here.

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a transpartisan national voter rights group focused on the ballot initiative and referendum process, and a coalition of other citizen rights groups applauded Thursday’s decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District to protect the First Amendment privacy of sensitive campaign information in court proceedings related to ballot title language of citizen initiatives.

Mo. — Absentee voters are already weighing in on ballot issues that will be decided at the polls across the state on Aug. 3. It’s possible that some absentee votes on a statewide issue won’t be counted. Printed ballots have a polarizing question — should Missouri deny the federal government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to buy private health insurance, which is what the Federal Healthcare Reform Act aims to do. But, since federal law trumps state law, experts say the initiative by Lt. Gov.

A Columbia group that opposes police use of Tasers says it has collected enough signatures for a November ballot initiative against the weapons. Organizers of People for a Taser-Free Columbia say they have collected roughly 4,000 voter signatures in less than two months. They plan to present the petitions to the city clerk on Wednesday morning.

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Opponents of a ballot question to scrap Missouri’s non-partisan court plan say its backers have not gathered enough signatures to place it on the November ballot. The current system for selecting judges to the Missouri Supreme Court, Appeals courts and some circuit courts relies on judicial panels to select nominees, which are then chosen by the governor. The initiative would require elections for all of Missouri’s judges.