One great thing about citizens being able to initiate their own proposed laws is the variety of topics that people take to the ballot box. On that note, an initiative circulating petitions in Columbia, MO is the first ever proposed to ban police use of Tasers. Supporters of the petition announced to chants of “We won’t be fooled again. Tasers have to go” that they will try to place the measure on the city’s November 2nd ballot.

La Center residents will soon have one more tool to use when they want their voices heard by local elected officials. This month, the La Center City Council is expected to adopt the initiative and referendum process residents worked months to acquire. The council was presented with a petition for the right in November and in December announced its intention to adopt the process. On March 24, the 90 days for challenges to the petition will have ended, allowing the city council to adopt an ordinance giving registered voters the right of the initiative and referendum.

Missouri House members gave first-round approval Tuesday to a proposed constitutional amendment designed to make it harder for citizen efforts to change the state’s wildlife and forestry policies. The measure would require a four-sevenths majority to pass ballot initiatives changing the state constitution or laws dealing with hunting, fishing or forestry. Currently, ballot measures only require a majority to pass.

Read the story from The News Tribune

Wrestling with your state income tax return? Missouri legislators are weighing a plan that would do away with that chore. But before you celebrate, be aware that it’s not a tax cut. While state individual and corporate income taxes would be eliminated, the lost revenue would be replaced with a higher sales tax on everything you buy. And that means everything — groceries, rent, new homes, doctor visits, child care, prescription drugs, private K-12 schooling and a host of other items not currently taxed.

Of the 101 initiative petitions Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office has received for this election cycle, 44 were approved for circulation, and 28 of those have been tied up in the courts. Opponents of ballot initiatives almost always sue Carnahan, the state auditor and attorney general over the ballot title and summary language that would be placed before voters. Sometimes the petitioner sues Carnahan because of a dispute over summary language.


Yesterday afternoon the Missouri Senate Elections Committee passed Senate Bill 818 out of committee by a vote of 6 to 1, many weeks ahead of where similar legislation was last session.

Citizen coalitions, millionaires and out-of-state groups are increasingly trying to bypass the Missouri legislature in favor of taking constitutional amendments and changes in state law directly to voters. Since the day after the November 2008 election, 101 ballot initiative petitions have been submitted to Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office. It’s a considerable increase from the 55 petitions submitted in 2008, 42 in 2006 and 16 in 2004.

Read the story from The News Leader

An initiative petition amending the Missouri Constitution to prohibit the tax of real estate sales and transfers would prevent any government entity from unfairly taxing one segment of the population, Realtor David Rogers said Feb. 10 at an Ozarks Board of Realtors meeting. Rogers is a broker/owner of Re/Max Hidden Creek in Independence and the 2009 president of the Missouri Association of Realtors. At the request of real estate boards, Rogers travels to various boards around the state to discuss a real estate transfer tax Missourians could face if the initiative doesn’t pass.

Missouri legislators are considering a measure that would require a greater showing of public support before questions are placed on a ballot. Democratic Sen. Joan Bray told a Senate committee Monday that there should be demonstrated support for a ballot petition before state officials spend time and taxpayer money approving it.

Read the story from Fox 4 KC

The Missouri House Agriculture Policy Committee this morning held a hearing on two bills, HJR 86 and HB 1825, both of which would create an individual right for Missouri citizens to be free from any state law or regulation that imposes an “undue economic burden” on any type of animal husbandry. The legislation appears to be an overreaching response to the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act now circulating for the November statewide ballot.

Missouri: Ballot language challenged

Tue, Feb 9 2010 — Source: KRCG 13

Cole County Judge Pat Joyce said she will decide by the end of the month whether a petition to allow voters to change the constitution to elect appellate court judges can go forward in its present form. A lawsuit challenging the initiative wants the ballot language rewritten to emphasize the potential influence of money on the judicial selection process.

Read the story from KRCG 13

Approached this weekend by a congenial woman with a clipboard in her hand and puppy pin on her lapel? Meet the Humane Society’s Army of Signature Gatherers. Volunteers for the animal welfare organization were out in force this weekend, collecting signatures for a ballot initiative seeking tougher state regulations on dog breeding facilities, so-called “puppy mills.”

Read the story from the Saint Louis Dispatch

This video is getting multiple airs during prime time on St. Louis TV news.  KTVI-TV covers Fox 2 Newsthe efforts of a Missouri group to qualify a constitutional amendment for this fall’s ballot.

Placing security cameras downtown is a good idea, members of the Chamber of Commerce say. The chamber issued a news release Thursday endorsing the initiative petition, that appears on the April 6 ballot, calling for cameras. The chamber’s board of directors had previously approved a recommendation from the Government Affairs Committee encouraging the City Council to revisit the downtown camera issue, but the request was denied. A group of Columbia citizens later presented the council with a petition to allow citizens to vote on the issue in April.

The Missouri Farm Family Agriculture Alliance is urging citizens against signing a ballot initiative for the so-called “Puppy Mill Cruelty Protection Act.” In a news release, the alliance of agricultural interests says The Humane Society of the United States is targeting “targeting Missouri dog breeders in a veiled attempt to regulate animal agriculture in Missouri.”

Read the story from the News-Leader