Four initiative petitions have made it through to the final step of approval before possibly going to voters on the November ballot. The intiative petition process started with about 100 possible petitions, which was narrowed down to 23 that the Secretary of State approved to be circulated in the state. The two constitutional amendments and two statutory amendments are all that remain, and Secretary of State spokesperson Laura Egerdal says all four of the petitions will be reviewed one last time.

Of the 45 states whose legislatures hold sessions in 2010, 27 of them have adjourned for the year, and 5 more will wrap up before the end of the month. Of the more than 80 bills dealing with the initiative and referendum process in various states, 51 of them would have reduced citizens’ initiative rights. Thanks to the work of activists in our coalitions, only 3 bills reducing citizen’s rights have passed and become law.

Missouri is poised to become the first state to put a new federal health insurance mandate to a vote of its residents. The Missouri House gave final approval Tuesday to a measure that will appear on the Aug. 3 ballot stating that people and employers cannot be compelled to have health insurance nor penalized for paying for health care out of their own pocketbooks.

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A ballot initiative is using well-known names like Tony La Russa to help support its cause. St. Louis Cardinals manager, Tony La Russa, has teamed up with some politicians and veterinarians to put an end to puppy mills. La Russa and eight other members are now participants in the Puppy Mills Reform Committee. Created by the Missourians For the Protection of Dogs group, the committee aims to fight against and take a stand against Missouri’s current puppy mills.

Clay Chastain is back in Kansas City trying to get light rail back on the ballot. Meeting with reporters Monday at Union Station, Chastain said he had about a quarter of the signatures needed to put a light rail proposal on the November ballot.

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Three petition drives met the deadline to turn in signatures for spots on the statewide ballot in November. One of the proposals deals with stronger regulations for puppy mills. Supporters and opponents of the petition agree large puppy mills are problem and harming animals is never acceptable. However, it’s how to approach the problem where the two sides butt heads. If there is one thing most people can agree on, it’s that animal abuse is wrong.

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Petitions to restrict the collection of taxes and to change the way some judges get their jobs made it to the Secretary of State’s office Sunday in advance of the 5:00 p.m. deadline. A group hoping to set standards for large puppy mills in Missouri was also there when the doors opened. The group Missourians for the Protection of Dogs delivered three carts full of signatures.

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Yesterday petition groups in Missouri turned in signatures for a variety of measures hoping to get on the ballot this year. Ballotpedia covered the turning in of signatures on Twitter and also put up a story on Watchdog.org about what’s going on in the state regarding initiative & referendum this year. Make sure to go and check it out.

Backers of an initiative that would give voters the opportunity to repeal the St. Louis and Kansas City earnings taxes, have submitted their petitions to the Secretary of State’s office, with twice the number of signatures needed.

A group said they have twice as many signatures as necessary to put a income tax-reduction measure on the November ballot. The group, “Let the Voters Decide,” submitted twice as many signatures Tuesday as necessary to add the measure to the ballot. The initiative would prohibit local earnings taxes in Missouri towns. It would also allow voters in St. Louis and Kansas City to decide if they want those taxes to continue.

Senate Bill 818, which will protect voters from having their signatures unfairly taken off a petition and will prevent petition efforts from being tied up in court, will be debated today at 2:30 Central Time on the Senate floor. You can listen live by going here and clicking on “Open Floor Action in New Window.”

(LAKE RIDGE, VA) – Today, Citizens in Charge Foundation, a national voter rights group dedicated to protecting the ballot initiative and referendum process, presented Missouri State Senator Jim Lembke with the April 2010 John Lilburne Award for sponsoring Senate Bill 818 and for all his work to make Missouri’s initiative process more open and accessible to the people.


I’ve just completed an online interactive database of Missouri ballot measures from 1910 to 2008. The database allows you to see what measures have passed and failed, and search and sort for various scenarios. You can also generate a list of past ballot measures based on vote requirements you specify. This allows you to see the effect of various super-majority percentages.

Columbia voters have endorsed a plan to put in downtown surveillance cameras to address concerns about rising crime. Unofficial returns from Tuesday’s city election show that the initiative petition started by the mother of an assault victim won the support of 59 percent of voters. The ballot measure known as Proposition 1 won by a margin of more than 3,300 votes.

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Four years after winning independence from Britain, 55 delegates from the new American states completed the awesome task of drafting a new constitution. On September 18, 1787, one Mrs. Powel asked delegate Benjamin Franklin, “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”Â Â  Dr. Franklin’s reply was both a warning and a commission to us, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

So, we’re supposed to have a “republic,” but what, exactly, does that mean?  We  better find out if we are to live up to Franklin’s charge to “keep it.”